Transcripts finally arrive in slaying of tourist Mechthild Schröer

Courtesy photoMechthild Schröer

Transcripts of a grand jury indictment of suspects in last year’s Union Square slaying of a German tourist are no longer missing, and prosecutors say the case can now proceed.

Mechthild Schröer, 50, was fatally shot while walking with her husband Aug. 8, 2010. Several men were charged with her slaying more than six months ago. Prosecutors said the alleged gang members were targeting each other outside a party and Schröer was caught in the crossfire.

But after a secret grand jury handed down indictments Sept. 27, the case was thrown off course. The court reporter tasked with transcribing grand jury testimony hadn’t delivered and wasn’t returning phone calls or emails, prosecutors said on Oct. 31.

All 1,130 pages of the transcripts were finally received Thursday, District Attorney’s Office spokesman Omid Talai said.

“We’ve always been confident this would not negatively affect the case,” Talai said.

Court reporters are required by law to complete a transcript within 10 days, though they can seek a brief extension.

Undisclosed “health issues” were cited as the reason for the reporter’s tardiness, though he was previously disciplined by the Court Reporters Board of California for unprofessional conduct and loss or destruction of stenographic notes.

Defense attorneys, citing speedy trial rights, had asked that the indictments of their clients be dismissed, but a judge on Nov. 7 denied that motion.

Five men are charged with Schröer’s murder. Their trial is scheduled to begin Dec. 16.

aburack@sfexaminer.com

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