Former BART cop Johannes Mehserle submitted this letter to his lawyer before the jury convicted him of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Oscar Grant. [full text after the jump] Although Mehserle penned the missive on July 4, before the verdict, his brief released it to the press on Friday—prior to sentencing. [download pdf of handwritten copy here] “Just like he faked and cried on the stand, he sent out a fake letter to the public,” Oscar Grant’s uncle Cephus Johnson said.
Meanwhile, the legal community expects the sentencing judge to throw out the jury’s “gun enhancement” (extra time for the crime) determination, as the caveat applies to felons with illegal guns, not armed police officers. Mehserle’s lawyer has requested extra time before sentencing to study the implications.
Please try to get this message to the public:
I don’t know what the jury in this case is going to decide, but I hope those who hate me and those who understand that I never intended to shoot Oscar Grant will listen to this message.
I have and will continue to live everyday of my life knowing that Mr. Grant should not have been shot. I know a daughter has lost a father and a mother has lost a son. It saddens me knowing that my actions cost Mr. Grant his life, no words express how truly sorry I am.
I hoped to talk to Ms. Johnson (Wanda Johnson, Grant’s mother) and Ms. Mesa (Sophina Mesa, Grant’s girlfriend and the mother of his daughter) in the days following this terrible event, but death threats toward my newly-born son, my friends and family resulted in no communication occurring. I hope the day will come when anger will give way to a dialogue.
For now, and forever I will live, breathe, sleep, and not sleep with the memory of Mr. Grant screaming “You shot me” and putting my hands on the bullet wound thinking the pressure would help while I kept telling him “You’ll be okay.” I tried to tell myself that maybe this shot would not be so serious, but I recall how sick I felt when Mr. Grant stopped talking, closed his eyes and seemed to change his breathing.
I don’t expect that I can ever convince some individuals how sorry I am for the death of Mr. Grant, but I would not feel right if I didn’t explain my thoughts as I wait for a decision of the jury.