A Los Angeles judge has denied the bail request made by Johannes Mehserle, who was convicted of killing Oscar Grant.
Mehserle, 28, is serving a two-year state prison sentence for his involuntary manslaughter conviction for fatally shooting unarmed passenger Oscar Grant III at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009, but he is seeking to be freed on bail while he appeals his conviction.
According to Bay City News, Oakland attorney John Burris, who represents Grant’s mother in a lawsuit against BART, Mehserle and other officers, said he wasn’t in court when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry made his ruling, but a staff member was present and confirmed that Perry rejected Mehserle’s bid to be freed.
Burris said he is “pleasantly surprised” that Perry denied bail to Mehserle.
He said he had thought that Perry might allow Mehserle to go free on bail “given his previous ruling giving Mehserle a short sentence.” He expressed similar sentiments to the Chronicle.
Prosecutors sought to have Mehserle convicted of second-degree murder for killing Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man. But in a verdict on July 8, jurors only convicted Mehserle of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.
Burris,said the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether to bring federal charges against Mehserle for the fatal shooting.
Oakland civil rights groups had said that they would organize protests were Mehserle to be released. However, since he was not, groups say that they will only have a small rally or perhaps just issue a press release.