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Hearing to look at New Year's BART incident

By Demian Bulwa
The San Francisco Chronicle

A preliminary hearing scheduled to start today is expected to offer an unusually detailed look at what might happen when former BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle goes to trial for fatally shooting an unarmed rider - from the evidence presented in court, including unpublicized video footage of the killing, to the protesters who plan to rally outside.

Such hearings ordinarily are cursory affairs in which prosecutors introduce just enough evidence to persuade a judge to bring a case before a jury, while defense attorneys often decline to call a single witness - saving their strongest material for trial.

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