06/18/2010

Mehserle trial: Surprise testimony may boost defense

Witness in cross-examination said that he had once drawn his gun on a suspect during a fight without realizing he had done so

By Demian Bulwa
The San Francisco Chronicle

LOS ANGELES — A former BART police officer who was standing several feet away when a colleague killed Oscar Grant testified Thursday that the scene at Oakland's Fruitvale Station that night was so chaotic that she had been on the verge of using her Taser on one of Grant's friends.

Marysol Domenici became the first officer who was with Johannes Mehserle on the train platform early New Year's Day 2009 to take the stand at his murder trial. She came under immediate attack from prosecutor David Stein, who accused her of justifying what Mehserle did by exaggerating the danger that police faced as they detained Grant and his friends after a fight on a train.

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