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LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KCBS) — A Los Angeles jury met behind closed doors Friday to weigh the evidence and arguments in the case of a former BART police officer accused of murdering an unarmed passenger.
Johannes Mehserle could be convicted on murder, or a lesser charge, or acquitted for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009.
Judge Robert Perry spent 40 minutes after closing arguments outlining detailed instructions on how the deliberations should proceed.
Jurors will be allowed to re-examine key pieces of evidence, said Laurie Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School who has been in the courtroom observing the trial.
“The jurors have been really paying attention. This is a hard case for them and they realize it. They also realize how much is riding on this,” she said.
Joe Rice, president of the trial-consulting firm Jury Research Institute in Alamo, expects the early stage of deliberations will be the first chance for jurors to sound off on what they’ve seen in court.
“There’s a great deal of venting that goes on in the opening moments of deliberations as jurors try to establish their position. They also get to talk about the evidence. They’ve not been allowed to talk about the case for a period of a couple of weeks so there’s this built up energy within the group that they now finally get to talk about the case,” he said.
The jurors adjourned at 4 p.m. Friday to enjoy the long weekend at home. Their deliberations are scheduled to resume at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 6.
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