Californian teen who killed classmate for being gay on trial today
July 5, 2011 | 10:51 am
(Updated: July 5, 2011 | 2:23 pm)
The trial will begin today for an Oxnard teenager shot and killed a gay classmate more than three years ago.
When Brandon McInerney was 14-years-old, prosecutors will argue, he walked into his classroom and pulled a .22-caliber handgun out of his backpack and shot Lawrence “Larry” King in front of his fellow students.
He then tossed the weapon to the floor and walked out. The victim, Lawrence King, was an openly gay student who McInerney reportedly thought had a crush on him. This week McInerney, looking more like an adult at the age of 17, will be tried in a high-profile homicide case that rallied the gay community and triggered calls for greater protections of young homosexuals on school campuses.
Prosecutor say McInerney planned and carried out the Feb. 12, 2008, slaying.
If convicted, McInerney, who is also facing a hate-crime charge, could spend his life in jail. He is being tried as an adult.
McInerney’s lawyers, Scott Wippert and Robyn Bramson, say their client doesn’t deny the killing.But they argue it was voluntary manslaughter because the adolescent was provoked by King’s repeated sexual advances.