The Associated Press: Teen accused of killing gay classmate faces trial
Brandon McInerney was a scrawny 14-year-old from a broken home when he was accused of gunning down a gay classmate in front of stunned students at a Ventura County middle school.
Three years later — and six months shy of legally becoming an adult — McInerney is going on trial on a charge of first-degree murder in the killing of 15-year-old Larry King. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison.
Opening statements are slated for Tuesday at a courthouse in the San Fernando Valley after a judge changed the venue.
Larry’s death has roiled gay-rights advocates and parents in Oxnard, a city about 60 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where the shooting occurred in February 2008. They wondered why school officials hadn’t done more to stop the harassment toward Larry by students, including McInerney. Larry’s family sued the school district, among two dozen defendants, for failing to protect the teen.
The conflict between the two boys, who both had troubled upbringings, didn’t seem out-of-place for teens coping with adolescence. There were taunts, teasing and on at least one occasion, a scuffle between Larry and McInerney, who purportedly tried to get others to beat up Larry.
What made the discord different from routine bullying is how Larry stood up for himself.
The day before the shooting, one of McInerney’s friends told authorities that Larry uttered the words “I love you” as he passed McInerney in a hallway, according to court documents filed by prosecutors.