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.