California | Lawrence King | News

Lawrence King Murder Not A Hate Crime, Says Defense Witness

6a00d8341c730253ef01543492488c970c-800wi A former police officer testifed on behalf of Brandon McInerney's defense yesterday to argue that the 17-year old was not motivated by hate or white supremacism when he shot and killed gay classmate Lawrence King in February of 2008.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

Randal Hecht, an investigator called by the defense, testified Wednesday that most white supremacists don’t have black or Latino friends, as McInerney, now 17, did. 

Prosecutors contend that a sympathy for white supremacists fueled McInerney. But in his testimony, Hecht -- a former Riverside police officer who has investigated crimes involving neo-Nazis — suggested the 2008 shooting of King in a computer  lab at E.O. Green Junior High was no hate crime.

Hecht, who delivered mostly yes-no answers in more than six hours on the witness stand, agreed with defense attorney Scott Wippert when he contended that personal conflict—not ideology—was at the heart of the slaying.

A girl in the computer lab testified earlier in the six-week trial that she was openly gay. Numerous other students in the room were black or Latino, including some who said they were friends with McInerney.

“If Brandon McInerney solely shot Larry King because of bias aagainst gays or those he perceived as gay, wouldn’t you expect him to turn the gun on Maria and shoot her?” Wippert asked.

Meanwhile, a defense psychologist claimed McInerney was in a "dissociative state" when he pulled the trigger, an act he admits. That argument seems dubious, because McInerney reportedly told a prison counselor that he had planned the fatal attack.

The trial, which is not getting the press attention it deserves, will wrap up next week.

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  1. ONce he's acquitted Brandon McInerney plans to marry Casey Anthony.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 18, 2011 12:46:33 PM

  2. As we know, males in our society do not feel threatened by lesbians the way they do by gay men. So much for that defense theory.

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 18, 2011 12:51:40 PM

  3. That defense argument is ridiculous. First, people can know people of a group and still hate them; McInerney could have had "friends" (probably more like classmates) of color and still had white supremacist beliefs. Earlier in the trial, it was revealed he had various materials from these groups. Second, regarding "Maria", a lesbian does not pose the same sense of "threat" that a gay man does to a homophobic person. Part of anti-gay rage is "betrayal of the male tribe", who is expected -- upon pain of death - to look, act, and "be" heterosexual. McInerney was also possibly gay, trying to "kill" this part of himself that he found unacceptable in a projection by killing King. The defense is pathetic and weak.

    Posted by: Ken Howard, LCSW | Aug 18, 2011 12:58:04 PM

  4. This trial may not be getting national attention, but the LA Times has been providing extensive coverage of the testimony.

    Posted by: David D | Aug 18, 2011 1:29:58 PM

  5. This man's testimony exposes him as a fraud in my opinion. He has no credibility. To argue this is not a hate crime because the defendant has black and latino friends is ludicrus. What has one got to do with the other? Nothing.

    Posted by: mytwocents | Aug 18, 2011 1:35:42 PM

  6. 1. Having friends who are black doesn't mean you're not racist. (In fact, having to state that you have black friends is a pretty good indication that you ARE.)

    2. Being friends with lesbians doesn't mean you're not a homophobe.

    3. Being friends with a gay man doesn't mean you're not transphobic.

    It's absurd to even have to state such obvious facts.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Aug 18, 2011 1:44:32 PM

  7. One thing that struck me about this whole horrible incident is that they said that Lawrence was dressed in regular boy's clothing the day of the murder (someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe I read that). Something forced him to conform that last day of his life.

    I think Lawrence King was afraid of McInerney. I think he knew he was in danger.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 18, 2011 1:58:04 PM

  8. Ha, Ok, it might not be a hate crime, IN THAT WAY. IT IS STILL A HATE CRIME AS HE KILLED HIM FOR BEING GAY.

    I could care less how racist he is as well.

    Also, The defense is gonna have to try harder, there is no way this kid gets off. HE EXECUTED A FELLOW STUDENT IN CLASS. This trial is just deciding how long he needs to be jailed. I don't want 50 years but I do want 10.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 18, 2011 2:05:14 PM

  9. I think shooting a gay person in the head seems like you have quite a lot of hate for that person....especially if it someone you see on a daily basis....what more proof do you need ? he shot the boy in the head and planned to do it...

    Posted by: paul | Aug 18, 2011 2:24:32 PM

  10. I want 100!

    Posted by: Manou | Aug 18, 2011 2:26:03 PM

  11. why do i keep wanting Brandon McInerney's sentence to be his being put in a witness protection program where he has 2 dads.

    Posted by: my2cents | Aug 18, 2011 2:28:02 PM

  12. I saw this at my college -- people from other nations and cultures could be out and gay and be accepted, because they were different than all the white Catholics like me. When I was out and gay, and looked just like everyone else on campus, with the same cultural and religious background, I was shunned and made fun of. Similarity especially in America, breeds contempt esp if you are gay.

    Posted by: David B. | Aug 18, 2011 2:44:06 PM

  13. You're right, Derrick from Philly. Lawrence was dressed in ordrinary clothes that day on the advice of a teacher to whom he had confided about McInerney's threats to kill him.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 18, 2011 3:37:46 PM

  14. A racist having friends of color is just as possible as a racist like Strom Thurmond having a biracial daughter. It happens! What a moron this so called expert witness is if he does not understand that.

    Posted by: joeyhegele | Aug 18, 2011 3:38:51 PM

  15. Ludicrous.

    Posted by: Mike F | Aug 18, 2011 5:28:38 PM

  16. This was a hate crime.

    Does anyone know whether the legal def. includes gay people?

    Posted by: Michael Singh | Aug 18, 2011 7:22:26 PM

  17. Hate crime or not he still is guilty of premeditated murder. That's enough to lock him up for a long time.

    Posted by: JohnAGJ | Aug 18, 2011 11:16:20 PM

  18. What is the prosecution doing to counter these baseless assertions? Are they really vigorously defending the dignity of Lawrence King, or purposely throwing this trial and blaming the victim because they don't really believe in their own case?

    Posted by: Keith | Aug 18, 2011 11:36:10 PM

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  20. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable.

    Posted by: Mike_In_Philly | Aug 19, 2011 7:26:10 AM

  21. The issue is NOT where or not the killer is "white supremacist", but whether or not he killed a member of a discriminated group because of the victim's membership in that group."White supremacy" can help make a conviction by proving a longstanding pattern of hate, but it is not necessary. All that is required is hate for one person which causes a crime one time. The accused killed the victim for the reason that he hated the victim's membership in a group of a protected class often attacked. The reason that there are hate laws is because there are haters -- the reason that there are protected classes or groups is because haters attack certain victims whom they hate for being members of a group which they hate. Larry king was not murdered because of his race, but because of his sexuality group, a protected group often attacked by haters. Larry King was not murdered for advancement of a white supremacy agenda but as a hate act for who he was.

    McInerney's profile as white supremacist is irrelevant.

    Posted by: Liann | Aug 22, 2011 6:17:54 PM

  22. This so called investigator is a moron ! To say that this doesn't qualify as a "hate crime" has got to be the most ignorant thing I have EVER heard. What would you consider it....a "crime of passion"? An "accidental shooting"? McInerney admitted that he planned the whole thing out. He had every intention of killing this innocent boy. He was a nazi sympothizer that believes that ANYONE different from him, is evil and that he has the rite to terminate them. I don't like turnip....does that mean that everyone at my thanksgiving dinner table is going to be the victim of my rage?

    Posted by: Dennis | Nov 24, 2011 10:01:53 AM

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