Ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to two years in state prison this afternoon for fatally shooting Oscar Grant, KTVU reports. But the judge in the case gave Mehserle credit for time he has already served in jail, meaning that he apparently will not have to spend a full two years in prison.
Update 1:12 p.m.: The judge in the case threw out the gun-enhancement charge and only sentenced Mehserle on his involuntary manslaughter conviction. Mehserle, as a result, faced a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison. The gun charge could have added a maximun of ten more years behind bars.
Update 1:17 p.m.: The Chronicle is reporting that Mehserle could be out of custody in about one year.
Update 1:44 p.m.: Oscar Grant’s family members, who are deeply dissapointed by the sentencing, say they will now ask the US Department of Justice to file civil rights charges against Mehserle. Federal prosecutors filed charges against the Los Angeles cops who beat Rodney King after a state jury had acquitted them.
Update 1:48 p.m.: KTVU is reporting that Mehserle may be out of custody in an as early as “a couple of months,” because of the credit for time served he received from the judge and because he may get credit for good behavior. Under state law, prisoners don’t have to serve their full sentences for felonies such as involuntary manslaughter if they exhibit good behavior while in custody.
Update 2:16 p.m.: In throwing out the gun-enhancement charge, Judge Robert Perry said that the evidence in the trial showed that Mehserle intended to pull out his Taser, but grabbed his gun instead by mistake, the Chron reports.
Update 2:29 p.m.: Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley announced this afternoon that her office is reviewing whether to appeal the judge’s decision to throw out the gun-enhancement conviction. Prosecutor David Stein had argued in court that it should have been allowed to stand.
Update 3:57 p.m.: Both the Trib and Chron are reporting that Mehserle may serve about seven months behind bars — in addition to the time he has already been in custody.