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Update on Johannes Mesherle Trial

On Sept. 4 Johannes Mesherle’s defense attorney, Michael Rains, requested a different judge, Judge Thomas Reardon, in the BART shooting case of Oscar Grant III to dismiss his client’s order to stand trial for murder charges. Rains stated that such charges could be “arbitrary, capricious and patently absurd,” as reported by KTVU News, arguing that the judge who presided his client’s seven-day preliminary hearing on June 4 excluded evidence that would have helped Mesherle.

Rains told the different judge that the Alameda County Superior Court Judge, C. Don Clay, did not allow the defense to present a 2006 incident of Grant, who threw a gun when San Leandro police tried to arrest him. Grant was hit by a Taser gun and further resisted the officers. The attorney also wanted to bring a Taser stun gun expert, who would have explained the way Mesherle drew his Taser from his utility belt.

After listening to arguments from Rains and prosecutors David Stein and Michael O’Conner, Judge Reardon took the defense motion to dismiss the charges under the submission, and will make a ruling in a couple of weeks.

This is part of continued attempts by the criminal defense attorney, who stated during the preliminary that the shooting was “a tragic accident” — that Mesherle mistook his Taser device for a gun by mistake. Johannes Mesherle, 27, shot Oscar Grant III in the early morning of Jan. 1 on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station in response to reports of a fight on the train.

Mesherle, free on a $3 million bail, is scheduled for court on Oct. 2 for a hearing on another defense motion to move the trial away from the Alameda County to get a fair trial without widespread publicity and scrutiny from an angered community.

– 2KTVU News (Copyright Bay City News 2009)