LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge considering the fate of a former white transit officer who killed an unarmed black man in Oakland says he has received more than 1,000 letters urging a harsh sentence.
Superior Court Judge Robert Perry read some of the letters in a Los Angeles court, where he is considering a motion for a new trial for Johannes Mehserle. If he denies the motion, Perry is expected to sentence the 28-year-old defendant.
Mehserle could face up to 14 years in prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter for shooting 22-year-old Oscar Grant on a train platform in 2009.
Mehserle has said he mistakenly pulled his handgun instead his Taser when he shot Grant as he lay face down.
Perry also read letters in support of Mehserle stating racial tensions have blown the case out of proportion.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.