Another Change in the Mehserle Jury

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Deliberations only lasted a few hours in the trial of the former BART police officer accused of murder Wednesday. The jury had to start deliberations from scratch Wednesday morning after a new juror was seated to replace one who was leaving on vacation.

Replacing the vacationing juror took all of 30 seconds. The new panelist is an Asian woman taking over for a Latino man.

CBS Five reporter Julie Watts, who is in Los Angeles covering the trial, says Wednesday’s deliberations were cut short because another juror had a medical appointment. The judge indicated that he expects a full day of deliberations Thursday.

Watts says there was one other wrinkle when the judge revealed that a note was sent by the jury last Friday asking for guidance on “provocation,” or conduct in the heat of passion. She says the judge and the prosecution assumed the question was referring to the crowd, but the defense believes it referred to the alleged aggression shown by former Officer Tony Pirone on the BART platform that morning.

Mehserle is facing murder charges for the fatal shooting of Oscar Grant early New Year’s Day 2009. Grant was lying face down when he was shot. Mehserle, who is white, claims he mistakenly pulled his gun instead of a Taser.

If you would like KCBS to send you a text message with the news of the verdict itself, text just the word “alert” to 45227.

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