*A judge sentenced former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle today to the minimum term of two years in state prison for fatally shooting unarmed train rider Oscar Grant during a video-recorded arrest in Oakland on Jan. 1, 2009.
A jury in Los Angeles County, where the trial was moved, found Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter in July, acquitting him of the more serious charges of murder and voluntary manslaughter. Mehserle testified that he killed Grant accidentally, after mistaking his service pistol and his Taser.
The verdict meant that jurors concluded that Mehserle, 28, did not intend to kill Grant, 22, when he shot him in the back at Fruitvale Station, but acted negligently and took his life unlawfully.
The jury also found that Mehserle, a Napa County resident, had used a gun during the crime. However, Judge Robert Perry threw out the gun conviction today, saying it was not supported by the evidence, and gave Mehserle two years for the involuntary manslaughter conviction, the shortest term possible.
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