Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
(07-08) 15:33 PDT LOS ANGELES -- Jurors have reached a verdict in the murder trial of former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who shot and killed unarmed train passenger Oscar Grant on Jan. 1, 2009.
The verdict is scheduled to be read in Judge Robert Perry's downtown Los Angeles courtroom at about 4 p.m. today, said a source with knowledge of the matter.
Jurors were given four options during deliberations. They could convict Mehserle, 28, of second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter, or they could acquit him.
The panel began deliberations Friday, but had to start from scratch Wednesday after a four-day break because one juror left on vacation and was replaced with an alternate.
The current configuration of the jury met for about 2 1/2 hours Wednesday, then reconvened at 9 a.m. today. In all, jurors deliberated for 6 1/2 hours before telling the court clerk at 2:10 p.m. that they had reached a verdict.
Mehserle's shooting of Grant at the Fruitvale Station in Oakland was witnessed by dozens of New Year's revelers on their way home from San Francisco and was captured on video by five other train riders.
It prompted a series of protests, including one that mushroomed into a riot in downtown Oakland. The trial was moved to Los Angeles because of heavy publicity in the Bay Area.
Alameda County prosecutor David Stein argued that Mehserle had lost control of his emotions and shot the 22-year-old Grant intentionally in the back after briefly trying to handcuff him in the wake of a fight on a train.
Grant was on his chest on the station platform. Mehserle testified that he had decided to use his Taser because he saw Grant put his right hand in his pants pocket and believed Grant might be reaching for a gun. The Hayward man turned out to be unarmed.
Mehserle said he had accidentally pulled out his pistol and fired a single shot before realizing he had grabbed the gun and not his Taser. Stein called the story a fabrication.\
Check back at SFGate.com for developments.
E-mail Demian Bulwa at firstname.lastname@example.org.