Medical Examiner Testifies In Lawrence King Murder Trial

Lawrence_King The trial against Brandon McInerney, 17-year old accused of shooting and killing gay classmate Lawrence King in 2008, continued today.

Hoping to show jurors the severity of McInerney's alleged crime, prosecutors called the medical examiner who performed King's autopsy to testify. It was predictably gruesome.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Oxnard student Larry King died from two gunshots to the back of his head, although a Ventura County medical examiner Wednesday morning could not say which shot came first.

As a second day of testimony got underway in the trial of King's classmate, Brandon McInerney, Chief Examiner Ronald O’Halloran demonstrated to jurors how the bullets penetrated King's skull and entered the back of his head.

A lack of gunpowder or smoke residue indicates the shooter was at least 1 1/2 feet away, he said.

Ug. This just makes me sick to my stomach. And not just the horrific details of King's injuries, but also because the defense team made the examiner explain that King was wearing nail polish on both his hands and his feet, a fact they'll no doubt use to paint King as a "sexual aggressor" whose advances  forced McInerney's hand.

Meanwhile, one of the boys' classmates also testified today, and said that McInerney had told him he wanted to "get some guys together and rush [King] and shank him." When asked whether King "chased boys around," the student replied, "No."


  1. ohplease says

    Well, if he was wearing nail polish, clearly he should have been shot in the back of the head while he sat in class.

    I can’t wait for all this to backfire and for his murderer to spend the rest of his life in prison.

    Hopefully, the defense attorneys will be made to pay for this by having a thoroughly ruined reputation after this trial, especially once their client loses.

  2. Russell says

    Where can reliable info on this case be found, or do we wait for the trial to spin itself out? The defense says Lawrence had a crush on Brian and pursued him, but do we know that? How do we know that Brian didn’t simply execute Lawrence for being so different? In either case, or somewhere in between, where were teachers and school officials? The case sounds like the students ran the school.

  3. Paul R says

    Is it accurate to call King gay? He sounds transgender.

    @Russell: this kind of bullying goes on in schools everywhere, though rarely with such an ending. McInerney could have made that comment during lunch, gym, after school, or pretty much anywhere. The school was likely baffled about how to handle King and, as much as I hate to say it, probably should have enforced a dress code for his protection. I’m not remotely blaming the victim, but it sounds like a pretty rough area. And 14 year olds in such areas aren’t known for their understanding or discretion, particularly of transgender issues.

  4. says

    the solution isn’t for us to cater to insecurities of the ignorant and bigoted.

    having King dress “differently” would do one thing and one thing only: put the weight on another young queer kid to one day have to be the vanguard.

    enforcing a dress code wouldn’t have helped. it would mean it would be another boy or girl in another time would be killed instead of Lawrence.

    as one of the few openly-gay kids from my highschool, i know too well how it is to be “the target”, but the reality is that those Out in school are the vanguards. And vanguards all too often pay a heavy price for leading an ignorant culture into the light.

  5. wyocwboy62 says

    Defense lawyers are cruel and heartless! I know they are doing their job but they have no heart and are heartless. I had to deal with defense lawyers in my last job and they were awful!!!!!!!

  6. Fenrox says

    I know with that other case being such a shocker, people may think this case will be a surprise, but it wont.

    This is textbook murder with many reliable witnesses. The gay panic defense is on it’s way out and it will not let this kid go free for murder. They should have pushed insanity and called it a day, but now that kid is getting 70 years to life.

    I want the press to RIP THIS STORY TO SHREDS, now is a perfect time for them to switch sides and start hating on the “Gay Panic” defense.

  7. Francis says

    This is definitely a story that I wish would get attention from the press and larger media, not to turn Lawrence’s tragic murder into a circus, but to highlight just how destructive homophobia/transphobia is, and also to spur discussion on why teenage males such as Brandon hold so much hatred and anger towards anyone non-heterosexual, and how to address that issue. It’s horrible this incident happened, but it can and should be avoided in the future.

  8. bob says

    you can’t kill somebody because you don’t like them. you can’t kill somebody because you hate them. you can’t kill somebody who is repeatedly harassing you. you can’t claim panic when you plan ahead of time to bring a concealed gun to school that is not licensed to you. this defense is shameful.

    If every teenage girl shot every teenage boy who made aggressive unwanted advances toward her, there would be a lot less straight teenage boys left. this is the only statement i would make in my opening arguments if i was king’s lawyer.

  9. Codswallop says

    Based on what I’ve read (which may or may not be accurate), Lawrence didn’t “flirt” with McInerny or his group, he responded to their bullying taunts with flirtatious come-backs instead of crying and running away like they expected. He STOOD UP to them using “saucy” come-backs and McInerny couldn’t take it, for whatever reason, so he killed Lawrence.

    McInerny’s defenders and defense attorney, and homophobes in general, have mis-characterized those snappy retorts as sexually predatory behavior to make King seem like the aggressor when it was McInerny’s pack of bullies who wouldn’t leave him alone.

  10. Bryan says

    “Ug. This just makes me sick to my stomach.”

    There you go again in your blatant attempts to win a Pulitzer for journalism.

  11. Greg says

    A horrible murder committed against a juvenile by a juvenile, overzealous money-grubbing defense attorneys, an ignorant mainstream media who could care less, and not one iota of attention from anyone about this trial. There are no winners here.

  12. Josh says

    To me, this tragic case is a cut and dried first degree murder. Premeditation, committed in front of multiple witnesses in cold blood. Lawrence King never had a chance at life (13 years old!) and this little sociopath McInerney will not walk free until he is an old man. As revolting as the story is, I want to see the media follow it closely–so Americans see the wages of intolerance.

  13. LiamB says

    “There you go again in your blatant attempts to win a Pulitzer for journalism.”

    Seriously? Why even post that? It’s a lead in to an article, there is no expectation of grand prose in doing so. Grow up.

  14. Rin says

    If being pursued or being hit on is a valid defense for murder then why aren’t there more straight guys in the graveyard for being sexually aggressive towards women in bars, not taking “no” for an answer, or all the other ape-like things they do to get your attention?

    I doubt it will fly, anyway. They tried it in the Matthew Shepherd (sp) trial that he was looking for action, to be beaten up, that he was sexually aggressive, etc. They were all convicted of murder.

    I just wanna know…where does all this escalation in society come from?

    Is it in the water? Why are people so cruel?

  15. Leanne says

    I have been in the courtroom for two days. This is a heartbreaking case. Brandon and his attorney, who is a cocky bastard, have admitted his guilt. They are now trying to convince the jury that it was Larry that was the aggressor thus sending Brandon over the edge, causing him to murder Larry. Brandon will do time either way the jury decides. As for the media, the courtroom was full of reporters yesterday, and today the courtroom was nearly empty.

  16. Paul R says

    @Little Kiwi: I dressed very differently in junior high and high school. Wore makeup. Dyed my hair endlessly. Had earrings in both ears. Wore clothing that I can’t believe my parents allowed me to wear. That was in the early and mid-80s.

    I wasn’t killed, and I want every kid to have freedom of expression however they see fit. But I also skipped two grades, had lots of girlfriends (just friends), scared people, had four big brothers, and lived in a reasonably advanced area. For the most part, no one dared to screw with me. King didn’t have that protection. His frigging parents abandoned him.

    My best friends (all female) and I were walking by a construction crew once working on a drainage system. They mocked us. I said something like, “Wow, I really care about the opinion of someone who works in a SEWER.” And we laughed at them.

    These were 15 huge guys, but I knew they wouldn’t hurt a bunch of 14 year olds. Today I doubt I’d do that, but today I don’t have orange hair. People are nasty. Kids don’t make the best judgment calls. Bad things happen. I would have been incredibly angry if I’d been told to tone things down, but it wasn’t a matter of life or death for me.

  17. Mike says

    I wish the shooters parents could be held accountable. They’re not going to be. But we know they must have been insanely homophobic assholes, and they must have provided their then 8th grader with a gun… I think This one you can blame on the parents. If they care about their son’s defense they’ll testify about how they propigated anti gay fear into their children. But they probably won’t, because they were assholes to begin with. So go with the nailpolish defense. Sounds great except when justifying the bullets in his head.

  18. ratbastard says

    1) It’s a defense lawyers job to be, if necessary, cocky and aggressive. It’s a defense lawyers job to use every thing at their disposal, including digging up dirt on victims. Not nice, but if you should ever need a defense lawyer to represent you, you’ll appreciate it better.

    2) Brandon McInerney EXECUTED, IN COLD BLOOD, by shooting Lawrence in the back of his head from less than 2 feet away. I’d be surprised if blood and brain matter didn’t splatter onto McInerney, he was so close. No excuse period for such vicious, psychopathic behavior. Society better hope this McInerney punk gets locked up for life, or we’ll hear from him again.