Arraignment of Teen who Killed Lawrence King Postponed

Brandon McInerney’s parents (pictured) and grandfather were present yesterday at Ventura Courthouse where the arraignment of the 14-year-old for shooting and killing classmate Lawrence King was scheduled, and postponed for a second time. McInerney’s attorney is still working to have his client tried as a juvenile, and not an adult:

Mcinerneyparents“Public defender Willy Quest said if his client, McInerney, would be tried as an adult, it would be a violation of the boy’s Eighth Amendment guarantee against ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. ‘If he’s convicted of the charges, he could be sent to 51 years to life in prison,’ Quest said…Quest said that some of the case might revolve around his client’s response to King’s behavior, which he said was the response of an immature teen. McInerney’s behavior was that of a typical 14-year-old, immature and impulsive, Quest said.”

In April, a coalition of gay groups including ambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Equality California, Gay Straight Alliance Network, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, released a statement calling for McInerney to be tried as a juvenile.


  1. JP says

    “McInerney’s behavior was that of a typical 14-year-old, immature and impulsive.”

    Oh sure… I killed people all the time at that age!

  2. Derrick from Philly says


    I feel the same emotions you do, BUT there must be some “reasonable” reasons all the gay & trans rights groups are calling for him to be tried as an juvenile. I want to hear what they have to say; but I hate this hateful boy, and I hate the grown folks who believe he was justified–those who believe the victim, Lawrence King, “had it coming”. There are too many in this world who believe that.

    I was just arguing with someone yesterday who was of the opinion that transfolk and flamboyant fem guys “ask for it”. I felt like bashing him upside his bigoted homo head.

  3. sparks says

    “McInerney’s behavior was that of a typical 14-year-old, immature and impulsive, Quest said.”

    No, actually.

    Name-calling, fighting, ignoring, and gossiping would have been typical of a 14-year-old.

    Making a premeditated decision to acquire, conceal, and smuggle a dangerous weapon into a school full of children, then drawing that weapon and at point-blank range executing another human being? That could only be “typical” of a psycho/sociopath who lacks the most basic moral compass and minimum amount of self-restraint required to co-exist in civilized society.

    Degree of punishment is irrelevant. If for nothing more than the interest of public safety, this individual needs to be put in a place apart from the population, where he is never without some form of official supervision.

  4. Wes says

    Yea, he was just being a normal teenager. Everyone goes through a period where you bring guns to school and shoot your gay classmates. Its practically a rite of passage, don’t you know?

  5. says

    The support of all the gay and trans groups shows WHAT A BUNCH OF FUCKING PATHETIC WIMPS THEY ARE!!!!!

    They are supposed to be our presentatives. They represent nothing but their own craven desire to be “loved” by those that hate them, and an insistence on supporting the status quo at all costs.

  6. JerzeeMike says

    What about Larry’s right to live. This kid violated Larry’s right to exist, brought a gun to school, and took a life. He knew exactly what he was doing when he put the gun into his bookbag that morning. The only thing this kid and his parents are sorry for is their current situation and the fear this kid will have to do some jail time.

    Considering the disgusting sentencing of Sean William Kennedy’s murderer in South Carolina they probably have little to keep them awake at night.

  7. queendru says

    This was not the act of just an “immature” or “troubled” youth. This was a murder. Those groups should be ashamed to claim to represent LGBT, Derrick.

    In CA, if he is tried as a juvenile he’ll be out in less than 10 years. Lawrence King’s sentence was death.

  8. says

    At first I thought it’d be irresponsible to try him as you would a 25 y/o but then I read SPARKS’ comments and although I wouldn’t support “FRYING THE BASTARD” like DAVID said , he needs to be sentenced for like half a century. Yup!

  9. ZnSD says

    So I guess the question is…do we want to hurt him (the same way he hurt Lawrence King) or do we want to help him? Does he deserve a second chance? Granted, most of us (hopefully) didn’t tote a gun to school with the plan to off the people we hated. I recall at 14 wishing several classmates would disappear. Even though I was much more Lawrence King than Brandon McInerney, I don’t wish him dead. Instead I look back and wonder: what if those boys had a chance to change in the form of direct guidance? If we don’t lead with what is right, then what makes us any different from those who would kill us? Isn’t the point to evolve? If it were my child he killed I’d want him dead I’m sure; but I sincerely hope that he receives the psychological help he so desperately needs.

  10. Derrick from Philly says


    I hear y’all loud & clear. When this murder first happened I was calling for this teenage murderer to be tried as an adult; now, I’ve calmed down. I’m curious why these gay rights groups have taken such a public stand on sentencing him as a juvenile. Is it “typical bleeding-heart liberal” posturing, or is there something worthwhile in sparing this teenage piece of shit an adult sentence?

  11. Leland Frances says

    Seconding David’s emotion, all the queen’s horses and all the queen’s whatever are simply bending over and flashing their, with apologies to Phil Ochs, Love Me, Please Love Me, I’m A Liberal tattoes.

    39 years after Stonewall, 10 years after Matthew Shepard was tortured to death [you know—the kind of murder that caused these same people, soaking in cheap tears, to scream, “WE must never let THIS happen AGAIN!”] we still cannot even have civil unions let alone marriage in most states, OUR “foreign” partners cannot even stay here let alone be naturalized by the love of one of our citizens, we still do not have job or housing protection in most states, kids like Lawrence King lucky enough not to be shot twice in the head or, worse, be driven by self-hatred to kill themselves, are still being verbally demonized and beaten and shoved into toilets and urinated on in America’s public schools, Presidential candidates and lower level vermin like college “Human Resources” directors and state representatives have no shame in publicly calling us god-damned vermin—a greater threat than terrorism, we have no federal hate crime protection, Sean Kennedy’s murderer just got THREE fucking years, Sammie Williams’ body is still decaying in a fresh Florida grave somewhere and on and on and on …. the RESPONSIBILITY for that drips like blood not from the hands of the homohaters but from the hands of the people like these, our so-called “leaders,” because they are Professional Pussies primarily driven not by the concept of OUR equality, our dignity, our SURVIVAL but by the kind of intellectually and morally childish tie-dyed, bean-sprouted, flower-powered delusion that “everything [and everyone] is beautiful.” Throw out the evidence; turn the other cheek; tear down the prisons; and let’s all have one giant hug while we have an organic, free trade Coke and teach the world to sing. FORGET Judy Garland—these are the people with rainbows coming out their collective ass.

    Except for those occasions when Barney Frank has, albeit too softly, verbally swatted one of our enemies, raise your hand if you have EVER seen on any TV news show one of our “leaders” talk back to one of the hate and lie spewing spokesfools for the Antigay Industry. Of course, you haven’t because they’re afraid of appearing “not nice.” And it wouldn’t be “nice” to indict and convict Lawrence King’s KILLER as an adult to send the message that we DESERVE to NOT be murdered; that there will be HELL to pay for attacking us.

    This is FAR less about “punishing” King’s killer than doing something to possibly PREVENT the next person of whatever age but old enough to understand that guns kill, to find one, to walk up to the “fag” they hate and pull the trigger TWICE from KILLING US!!!!! Our “judicial system” is far from perfect, innocent people, particularly people of color, are jailed all the time, or the guily ones disproportionately punished.

    BUT, just as there was no question of who killed Sean Kennedy, just as there was no question of who murdered Harvey Milk & George Moscone, no question of who murdered Gwen Araujo, we KNOW who blew Lawrence King’s brains all over his classmates. We KNOW that it was triggered by him simply giving his EXECUTIONER a Valentine.

    If McInerney had KILLED A 15-year old little GIRL simply because she gave him a Valentine, because he wasn’t attracted to her, because he was embarrassed by her attraction WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK WOULD BE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW????????????????????????????


  12. anon says

    If you know the law at all, you should know that he should be charged as a juvenile. This whole contemporary trend of charging kids as adults is grandstanding at its worst, designed to look tough on crime when it really just makes a mess of things. He would still be charged with murder, but he would not be eligible for the death penalty or other ridiculous sentences for someone his age. The other cases mentioned here generally involve adults and so don’t apply. As a juvenile, his parents are subject to civil judgments to King’s family, which would not be the case if he is charged as an adult. (Well, the civil trial would have to redo all the testimony as if he were a juvenile at least, which probably would lead to lots of appeals.)

  13. JTluvr says

    Trying this boy as an adult is unjust and inhumane no matter what you might feel about the crime.

    He has his entire life ahead of him. How about he get the help (real therapy while incarcerated) he needs before he’s institutionalized and schooled in true violent crime.

    He will probably spend his formidable years in prison. He will grow up in an institution. Is that the kind of person you want released back into society?

  14. JTluvr says

    How can we, as a community of misunderstood, oppressed and discriminated peoples, ask for understanding and tolerance when we, ourselves, are not willing to be merciful?

  15. Banne says

    I believe that he needs to be psychologically examined to determine level of sociopathic behavior. Some people, regardless of upbringing, are sociopaths and are almost always unrehabilitated and often continue to commit violent crimes against other people. If he is a sociopath, he needs to be locked away for good.

    If he is not, then it is very possible that he has been programmed to think that what he did was an acceptable response and can be rehabilitated. I know at 14 I was not mentally mature as I am as an adult. I am thinking this is more likely what you would find, as sociopaths usually do not require some trigger to act out and clearly this kid responded to something he found offensive about King rather than just killing indiscriminately. I hope if he is tried as a juvenile, which seems more warranted at 14 years of age, then his parents are also charged with their neglectful behavior in allowing their child to have the resources available to kill another person.

    It isn’t about how he is tried as much as whether he can ever be rehabilitated and learn that what he did was unacceptable. It’s hard to assume he should know better if you know nothing about his mental state.

  16. ryan says

    im sorry, but i just don’t get it. the kid brought a gun to school and shot another kid in the back of the fucking head for being gay. he knew what he was doing and he should be tried as an adult period.

    make him a an example to all other bigoted teenagers and let him rot away in jail for the rest of his life. i have no sympathy.

  17. thin mint says

    If his age has no bearing on whether he ought to be tried “as an adult” and when so many children are being judged this way, why do we continue to use the inaccurate phrase “as an adult”?

    Why not change the phrase to something that reflects actual usage, such as “tried as a child we have given up on”?

  18. rudy says

    The prosecutor is entrusted with exercising his/her discretion to charge the alleged murderer as an adult or a juvenile. The prosecutor’s job is to help in the administration of justice by redressing a crime, based on all facts and circumstances, not just the alleged perpetrator’s age. It is the job/role of the defense attorney to elucidate mitigating factors. The jury then weighs all the facts and circumstances based on the evidence (not speculation or feelings of right/wrong). The “mercy” part of the administration of justice comes into play at sentencing where the judge takes the defendant’s age into consideration together with other factors, such as pre-meditation, contrition, etc. My gut instinct is to “fry him” but my professional responsibility is to put that aside–for the moment–and ensure, even as a citizen not directly involved, that justice is meted out in accordance with our judicial norms and rules. That is what is occurring.

  19. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    These murders always increase during elections. (The NCAVP says that the figure for hate murders jumped from 10 in 2006 to 24 in 2007.) Link to for a full report on violence against us last year by year.

    There was no Federal hate crimes bill when Sean Kennedy (April 8, 1987 – May 16, 2007) was murdered or later when Lawrence King (January 13, 1993 – February 12, 2008) and others were bludgeoned, stabbed and gunned down in a furious pate of murders this February. There won’t be one for some time. That is solely the fault of the Democrats who junked the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill AFTER it’d passed both house of Congress.

    They also tossed out ENDA after Barney Frank gutted it just to get more ‘contributions’ from money grubbing bigoted business owners. And they refused to repeal DOMA and DADT. And they called us second class citizens by opposing same sex marriage. The Republicans weren’t in control of Congress when this was going on but they didn’t need to be. The Democrats did all the Republicans could have hoped for and then some.

    That explains why, as Robert Reich say, “The largest party in America, by the way, is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. It’s the party of non-voters. “

    And it explains why Gore Vidal gets enormous applause then he says “[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property Party…and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt – until recently… and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties.”

    But it doesn’t explain where they get the gall to ask us for our votes.

  20. says

    “How can we, as a community of misunderstood, oppressed and discriminated peoples, ask for understanding and tolerance when we, ourselves, are not willing to be merciful?”

    Oh I see. Lawrence King’s death is all OUR fault cause we don’t love murderous homophobes enough.

  21. Win says

    I believe that what Brandon did was wrong but people also have to understand through his viewpoint. Growing up in a messed up family probably made him a bit more violent than the rest and the constant flirting from Lawence (which Brandon attempted to stop) just triggered a reaction. If Lawrence had stopped teasing Brandon, he wouldn’t had taken such an extreme action.