The minute closing arguments wrapped up in the Oscar Grant trial last week in Los Angeles, folks were already girding for protests and potential community reaction back here in Oakland. But people will have to wait a little bit longer for an answer in ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle’s trial.
A juror called in sick this morning, which delayed deliberations until tomorrow morning, when they will reconvene at 9 a.m. Tomorrow, the jury will have to begin its deliberation anew since another juror will be leaving for a previously scheduled trip. This juror, a South Asian male who appeared to be in his 60s, told Judge Perry during the trial that he would have to leave by July 7. (When the juror confirmed his travel plans in court, Perry jokingly asked the man if he happened to schedule an afternoon flight for himself.)
He will be replaced by an alternate. Since two jurors were replaced during the trial, there are just three alternate jurors left. The current jury makeup has seven women and five men. While there are three Latinas on the jury, a majority of the jurors are white. The jury has no Black members.
So far, the jury has had just two and a half hours of deliberation together, and there are dozens of pieces of evidence and video to sift through. Mehserle faces charges of second-degree murder and voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.