Former BART officer, shooting suspect returns to Oakland
Sun News Service
LAKE TAHOE “-Less than an hour after he waived extradition this morning, shooting suspect Johannes Sebastian Mehserle, arrested at Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, was on his way back to Oakland.
Douglas County officials said Alameda County officials were waiting for Johannes Sebastian Mehserle, 27, after a five-minute appearance in East Fork Justice Court where he agreed not to fight a return to Oakland.
The former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer is accused of the New Year’s Day shooting death of a handcuffed man.
He was arrested Tuesday night at a home in Zephyr Cove and held in Douglas County Jail without bail.
Undersheriff Paul Howell said he believed Mehserle went to Nevada for his own safety.
“He just wanted to get out of the Bay Area due to the magnitude of the incident,” Howell said. “He wasn’t trying to run.”
Mehserle appeared in East Fork Justice Court wearing dark blue jail-issue clothing and wrist and leg irons, as about a dozen members of the media and two dozen law enforcement officer filled the courtroom.
He was represented by his lawyer, Christopher Miller, of Sacramento.
Mehserle gave mostly “yes” and “no” answers to East Fork Justice Pro Tem Paul Gilbert’s questions.
“I would like to waive extradition to California,” he said.
Mehserle was arrested at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday on a fugitive warrant at a Zephyr Cove home belonging to friends, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office was informed early Tuesday by the Oakland Police Department that Mehserle was believed to be in the Zephyr Cove area.
Officials contacted Mehserle’s attorney and advised him Mehserle was at the residence. According to reports, the attorney telephoned Mehserle who surrendered without incident.
Jail staff said Mehserle had been cooperative and was housed in a segregated area on a precautionary health and welfare watch.
His arrest came 12 days after witnesses said he fired into the back of 22-year-old Oscar Grant while the man was lying facedown on a train platform at a Bay Area Rapid Transit station in Oakland. Grant and others had been pulled off a train after reports of fighting, as New Year’s Eve revelers were shuttling home after midnight.
The shooting was captured on several cell phone cameras and widely viewed on the Internet.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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