Lawyer for charged ex-cop wants gag order lifted

By: By TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press Writer
By: By TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The lawyer for a former Bay Area police officer charged with killing an unarmed man says a judge's gag order should be lifted so he can defend his client against a barrage of negative publicity.

Court documents filed in Oakland, Calif., show lawyer Michael Rains has asked a judge to lift the gag order in the case of former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle.

Rains says the order limits his efforts to fight negative publicity about his client that could prejudice potential jurors.

Mehserle has pleaded not guilty to murder in the New Year's Day shooting of Oscar Grant on a train station platform in Oakland.

Prosecutors say Mehserle shot Grant in the back while he lay on the ground.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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