Ex-officer in BART shooting pleads not guilty


BART OfficerThe former BART police officer who fatally shot an unarmed man early New Year’s Day pleaded not guilty Thursday to a murder charge during a brief but tense court hearing, at which his attorney said he planned to seek a bail reduction that could allow his client to be released from jail before trial.

Johannes Mehserle, 27, entered his plea in Alameda County Superior Court in Oakland as about two dozen supporters looked on, including his parents, Todd and Agatha Mehserle. The couple were escorted to court by police officers a day after their Napa neighborhood was evacuated when two suspicious boxes were left on the porch of their home. The boxes turned out to be harmless.

Separated on the other side of the gallery were about 25 relatives and friends of Oscar Grant, 22, the man Mehserle shot on an Oakland BART platform. Some, including Sophina Mesa, the mother of Grant’s 4-year-old daughter, wore black T-shirts bearing Grant’s picture and the words, “Gone but not forgotten.”

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Ex-officer pleads not guilty in BART shooting
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A former police officer for the Bay Area transit system pleaded not guilty Thursday in the New Year’s Day shooting of a passenger at an Oakland rail station.

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