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Brandon McInerney Will be Tried as Adult in Lawrence King Murder

A judge in Ventura County, California decided after three days of hearings that 15-year-old Brandon McInerney should stand trial, as an adult, for the murder of his classmate Lawrence King in February 2008:

Mcinerney "Summing up evidence from investigators, Ventura County Superior Court Judge Ken Riley took note of McInerney's telling other students about his intent to kill Larry King, a 15-year-old who wore makeup, earrings and high heels to school...McInerney allegedly shot King twice in the head Feb. 12, 2008, as their class sat in a computer lab at E.O. Green Junior High School. Barely 14 at the time of the crime, McInerney has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder. On Wednesday, the judge said the charge was appropriate, along with an allegation that it was a hate crime...During the hearing, an investigator testified about an Oxnard man who allegedly was McInerney's neo-Nazi 'mentor.' Simi Valley Police Det. Dan Swanson, an expert on white supremacists, also pointed to McInerney's apparent interest in Nazi symbols, including swastika-riddled drawings found in his possession. On Wednesday, the judge also agreed to a newly added special circumstance that McInerney was lying in wait for King. The shooting took place 15 or 20 minutes into class. King was shot from behind."

McInerney faces 53 years to life if convicted, according to the prosecutor.

There is a plea deal offer on the table: "The Ventura County district attorney's office has offered him a 25-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea, but he has not accepted the deal." McInerney's attorneys are apparently planning to appeal and have the case tried in juvenile court.

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Comments

  1. Andy, you left out an interesting element of that article. "McInerney attorney Robyn Bramson summed up the defense strategy. In exasperation, she asked an investigator: "What if you talked to Brandon and he said, 'I did it because this kid was sexually harassing me and I felt panicked, freaked out and uncomfortable'?"

    Who doesn't feel panicked, freaked out, and uncomfortable during some or all of adolescence? Does that mean you can murder someone? I almost feel sorry for the kid (now considered an adult) for having such a crap lawyer. That's not exasperation, that's desperation.

    Though it's interesting how much information is coming out that Lawrence didn't go around in a cloud of victimhood: it sounds like he really screwed with the guys who screwed with him. Obviously the outcome was ghastly, and his teacher's warnings were understandable, but he had some balls.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jul 23, 2009 8:10:26 AM


  2. All that's going to happen in prison is 25 years of growing an even angrier skin-head.

    I think the fair thing to do would be to lie in wait and quietly, quickly, and efficiently, walk up behind McInerney and shoot him twice in the head...

    Posted by: David B. | Jul 23, 2009 9:10:10 AM


  3. Paul-- I can see the "gay panic" becoming a defense strategy, but in this case, I think it will be a real tough sell since it wasn't a kneejerk reaction from the other boy. He took a full day to consider his actions and this crime was premeditated as well as being declared a hate crime. I can't see any judge accepting the appeal to be tried in juvenile court. I'd be hard pressed to see a judge even accepting a plea deal in this case. There was a child shot in the back of the head in a place where he is supposed to be protected. Children being murdered doesn't fly too well with any judge.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Jul 23, 2009 9:22:17 AM


  4. Good. Lock the little fucker up and throw away the key.

    Posted by: Pender | Jul 23, 2009 9:25:07 AM


  5. Barely 14 with a neo-nazi mentor. Yep, lock him up for 25 years. That'll teach him. By then his frontal lobe will be fully developed and he'll be able to understand the crime he committed at 14.

    David B, if you're in law enforcement, please quit.

    Posted by: David T | Jul 23, 2009 9:31:40 AM


  6. His NaziMentor, and his parents, should be tried as well. He wasn't born that way. I feel sorry for this kid, as he obviously never stood a chance of being well-adjusted.

    Posted by: secretagentman | Jul 23, 2009 9:47:31 AM


  7. So sad. This entire thing is so sad. It's so sad that the media has allowed the right-wing spin. It's sad that Lawrence King will never get the chance to grow and find himself. And, yes, I think it's sad that Brandon's life will be destroyed, too.

    Science has clearly established that 14 year old brains are very, very different from adult brains. They aren't just more stupid, but they lack intellectual maturity. What are in effect unimportant, small things in life are blown way out of proportion for 14 year olds. The smallest things seem like the biggest deals to them. Someone makes fun of them and it's *literally* the end of the world to them.

    Does that excuse what Brandon did? Absolutely not. Even a 14 year old knows that murder's wrong. However, a 14 year old usually lacks the maturity to realize how to rationally deal with a situation like the one Brandon was in -- or to ignore it, without allowing it to fester into some big thing.

    I just don't see how putting this kid away for 25 years will help anything. It just ends up destroying two lives. Brandon clearly has mental issues and is not fit for society at this point, but that doesn't mean throwing away the key for most of this kid's life is the solution either. Sadly, there's just *no* good solution for any of this -- that's what hand guns end up causing. Grief, death and murder.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jul 23, 2009 10:10:01 AM


  8. One element of this case that is glossed over is how much did race come into play? With a neo-Nazi, white supremacist mentor did the killer attack his victim because his victim was not only gay but also biracial?

    Posted by: Gunnar | Jul 23, 2009 10:19:08 AM


  9. umm.yeh lets give the guy a lighter sentence so his life doesnt turn out horrible..its called justice..he took a life there are to be consequences and harsh ones, he should be made an example of so shit like this doesnt happen.

    Posted by: Ford | Jul 23, 2009 10:34:35 AM


  10. Great except a 14 year old is not an adult.

    Posted by: giovanni | Jul 23, 2009 11:49:06 AM


  11. Wow, David B. Your solution is to shoot a kid in the head? You might want to consider therapy. I feel sorry for anyone who has to interact with you on a daily basis. I wonder if they know they're actually dealing with an irrational lunatic.

    Trying McInerney as an adult is an injustice. I realize that that's probably a wildly unpopular view - that it would be more correct of me to be so outraged by this slaying that I cannot contain my irrational bloodlust - but the fact is, a 14 year old is not an adult, not in the legal sense, and definitely not in the psychological sense.

    All the calls for JUSTICE, that he be made an example of, completely miss - perhaps intentionally - the fact that McInerney is just a *kid*. A kid who did a horrifying thing that demands a response from society, but still a kid.

    Posted by: Jordan | Jul 23, 2009 1:12:06 PM


  12. This is WRONG -- and anyone who goes along with trying a child for an adult crime should be ashamed of themselves. It puts us on the same level as Iran, where they execute teenage boys for jacking each other off. Disgusting. Disgraceful.

    Posted by: Kyle Sullivan | Jul 23, 2009 1:39:41 PM


  13. Anyone who shoots a kid point blank in the head, regardless of what identiy politics is at play, is far and away more wrong than trying someone who did something repugnant with the full consideration of justice. I'm not going to make a case for clemency for McInerny. He obviously couldn't be bothered to have any mercy for the child he murdered. He'll be getting no sympathy from me.

    Posted by: g_whiz | Jul 23, 2009 2:05:39 PM


  14. The kid is obviously a sociopath, whether innately or turned into one by a life of continual mindfucking.

    Either way, he premeditated murder.

    Sure, people make mistakes when they're young; and with extremely bad role models and conditions, those mistakes could even include actions based upon a total disregard for property and disrespect for the feelings of others.

    However, 14 is definitely old enough to know that taking a life -- especially the killing of another human being -- is the highest form of WRONG.

    I consider him a menace, and hope the jury will too. As such, I hope he'll spend the rest of his life locked away from innocent citizens.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 23, 2009 6:30:16 PM


  15. I believe the murderer got what he deserved for shooting an innocent boy for being GAY. Seriously hating gays is the most ridiculous thing I have heard. I hope he's locked away for life. Murder is not something to mess around with and probably isn't the best idea if you are 15 years old.

    Posted by: Joseph James | Jul 24, 2009 9:14:45 PM


  16. aloha andy....
    a recent visit to ventura county reminds me of many things that i enjoyed about the area, yet, the overall negligence and irresponsibility that have been represented in some programs do not make events like this surprising -- albeit disheartening for both parties when considering the purported stories behind this situation.

    Posted by: ricardo | Jul 25, 2009 4:36:26 PM


  17. How can anybody possibly feel like this 14-year-old shouldn't be tried as an adult? Sure, adults are more mature...but the kid took out a gun and murdered somebody in cold blood. Locking him up for years CAN make a difference, because he won't be able to go kill any other innocent people. Regardless of whether he was "teased" by King (which, by the way, is an inept argument, since McInerney himself teased King for far longer), killing somebody like that is wrong. Lawrence King had friends, and family, and a future. McInerney snuffed out his life. The death of one person is, in a way, the death of an entire world. You feel sad that McInerney's life is destroyed? I say he deserves it. He deserves to have his world destroyed, because he certainly destroyed the world of King and people who held him near. If one of your close friends / relatives were killed by him, you'd be saying the same thing - let the fucker rot.

    Posted by: the_azn_way | Sep 19, 2009 4:59:12 AM


  18. I feel sorry for this kid. He is so anti gay that he killed a gay kid his age. Yet now he is going to prison where he will become some ones piece of meat and gay sex buddy. Serves him right. The cop who mentored him in his white supremacist thing should serve right next to him.

    Posted by: oldfoxbob | Mar 10, 2011 12:31:45 PM


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