4th September 2009
A judge’s ruling that former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle be ordered to stand trial on murder charges for the shooting death of Oscar Grant III was “arbitrary, capricious and patently absurd,” Mehserle’s attorney said Friday.
Defense attorney Michael Rains said the murder charge against Mehserle, 27, should be dismissed or reduced because Alameda County Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay, who presided over Mehserle’s seven-day preliminary hearing that concluded June 4, excluded evidence that would have helped Mehserle.
Rains told a different judge, Judge Thomas Reardon, at a hearing Friday that Clay should have allowed the defense to present evidence about a 2006 incident in which Grant, a 22-year-old Hayward man, threw away a gun when San Leandro police tried to arrest him, was struck by a Taser stun gun device and still continued to resist officers.
Rains also said he should have been allowed to call an expert on Taser devices who would have testified about the way that Mehserle draws his Taser from his utility belt.
After listening to about an hour of arguments by Rains and prosecutors David Stein and Michael O’Connor, Reardon took the defense motion to dismiss the charges against Mehserle under submission and said he will rule sometime in the next several weeks.