He could be been convicted of the more serious charges of Voluntary Manslaughter or Murder. He also could have been acquitted. I didn't follow the trial, but this seems about right to me.
I certainly believe it's much more likely that Merhserle meant to Taser Grant and made a horrible and lethal mistake more than I believe that he just decided to become a cold-blooded killer and kill somebody in front of a big crowd.
Merhserle faces two to four years in prison.
For what it's worth, back in January I wrote this:
So let's just say that the police officer is put on trial and says, "I plead no contest. I didn't mean to do it. But I did. All I remember was that there was a large crowd yelling and a man was struggling. Next thing I know I hear a gunshot and look down and discover it was my gun. I didn't ever realize I was holding my gun. I feel terrible for the victim and his family. I'm sorry. I beg the court's mercy."That basically became his defense. The Oakland Tribune reports:
What should happen to the police officer? What is appropriate justice in a case like this?
"I didn't think I had my gun," Mehserle said last week as his face turned red and his lips started quivering. "I heard the pop. It wasn't very loud. It wasn't like a gunshot. And then I remember thinking, What went wrong with my Taser?So I guess the answer is conviction for involuntary manslaughter and two to four years.
"I remember looking at my gun in my right hand," Mehserle said as he broke down in sobs. "I didn't know what to think. It just shouldn't have been there."