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'Nightline' on the Lawrence King - Brandon McInerney Case: VIDEO

Jury

Nightline covers the murder case of Lawrence King and the trial of Brandon McInerney. The jury and McInerney's mother speak to Juju Chang in Nightline's Crime and Punishment series.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. The triumphant look on Brandon's brother's face in his interview seems very creepy to me.

    I would love to know who is paying Brandon's legal team. Some white supremacist group?

    Say Lawrence had been straight and normal-appearing, and had been in a dispute with Brandon over a girlfriend or something. Would Brandon have been tried as an adult for popping him in the head with a .22? If so, would there have been a hung jury?

    Instead, the message now goes out from California: it's OK to kill fags.

    Posted by: Demian | Oct 5, 2011 7:49:05 AM


  2. "Save Brandon" bracelets?!! What!?! This teenager murdered his classmate at point-blank range, in the back of the head. What is there to debate?

    "Brandon was sexually harassed"!? Ridiculous. Larry King was using whatever resources he had in a [sadly failed] attempt to stop a murdering bully.

    Brandon is guilty of murder, full stop. He is a murderer.

    Posted by: Xavi | Oct 5, 2011 7:58:23 AM


  3. I'm not going to go into the Whys and what ifs, but it comes down to a simple fact.

    Wrong is wrong. He is responsible for the death of someone else. He planned it far enough that be brought a gun to school.

    There is no disputing he killed him. You commit the crime, you do the time.

    The rest of it is all just people talking.

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 5, 2011 8:30:58 AM


  4. @Demian,

    http://www.adjj.org/downloads/58competence_study_summary.pdf

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-03-03-juveniles_x.htm

    I would like to know, if you don't mind me asking, are you always for teens being tried as adults?

    Many of the people on here who wanted him to be tried as an adult...well, I just don't believe that they would have clamored for that had the circumstances been two hetero kids. I think emotions are high, people want justice for Lawrence...and that is correct and natural, but justice and vengeance are two entirely different things.

    I have always, consistently been against trying teens as adults. We prevent 14 years olds from driving FOR A REASON. We prevent them from working until 16, signing contracts, joining the military, getting their own place, quitting school, buying alcohol, getting credit cards, etc.

    However, we turn Puritanical when teens commit crimes. We are a ruthless, cruel, vengeful nation that doesn't care about balance OR mercy.

    Was murder committed? Yes. Absolutely. Is he as guilty as I would be were I to commit murder? Absolutely not. I have more life wisdom, my hormones aren't raging, I have the tools to deal with trauma in my past.

    It is entirely different.

    There needs to be a better way to deal with juveniles who commit murder. This is not how it is done. Now, there is no justice for anyone.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 5, 2011 9:01:35 AM


  5. As tragic as Larry's death is, and as much as I want to see Brandon punished for it, the people that should really be on trial are Brandon's parents.

    Posted by: Jeff M. | Oct 5, 2011 9:08:35 AM


  6. Children should not be tried as adults. Ever. For any reason.

    Posted by: Larry | Oct 5, 2011 9:54:41 AM


  7. @Jeff M., perhaps as murder accomplices? With what evidence?

    Brandon is the murderer, he planned the attack, he pulled the trigger and he shot Larry King AGAIN, in the back of the head!

    Raging hormones, confused teenage years, whatever...

    He is a murderer and should spend his entire adult existence in prison. Perhaps when is 60 years old, he can live under monitored surveillance in a home for the rest of his existence.

    Posted by: Xavi | Oct 5, 2011 9:57:18 AM


  8. For those who want to give McInerney some leniency because of his age: The "boy" knew how to use a firarm. He knew that the main purpose of a firearm is to kill. He had told classmates, in advance, he was going to be bringing a weapon to school for the sole purpose of killing Larry King.

    About the only thing Mr. Wippert didn't use in his defense of McInerney was that McInerney may have been overloaded by the sugar content of Twinkies.

    McInerney should be in prison for the rest of his life. He's a teenager? Too bad. The litmus test is whether or not McInerney knew the difference between right and wrong, legally, and that his actions would lead to potential incarceration. By his own admission, he did.

    For those interested, Mr. Wippert's web page: http://bergslaw.com/attorneys/scott-wippert

    His phone number: (530) 223-5100.

    Maybe a few thousand emails/phone calls might help him realize the victim is Larry King, dead at the age of 14; a death for which his client is 100% responsible. A person doesn't get - nor do they deserve - a free pass to kill someone simply because that other person makes them uncomfortable.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Oct 5, 2011 10:10:31 AM


  9. "Save Brandon" bracelets? This makes me angry beyond words.

    Posted by: Nathan | Oct 5, 2011 10:36:57 AM


  10. I want to give EVERY juvenile a juvenile trial.

    Jesus, you guys are bloodthirsty! Were you cheering when Bill Clinton fried the guy on death row who had Downs Syndrome, too?

    Yes, he knew how to use a firearm. Is it that difficult in the days of Call of Duty? Fourteen year olds can probably drive cars and drink alcohol, too.

    Should they be allowed to do that?

    What about child molesters? Should they no longer be put on registries or given harsh sentences because kids really truly know what they're doing?

    You know, I get that this is a horrible travesty, and I get that a child's life was taken, but if we don't have principles that are equally applied then we are a big stinking bunch of hypocrites.

    The day that kids can drive cars, get married, join the military, quit school drink, do drugs, and have sex with whomever ... then try them as adults because they will have been accepted into all adult activities.

    And before it is said that people only want justice for hetero kids, check the comments out...

    http://unlvrebelyell.com/2009/03/05/juvenile-criminals-must-be-tried-as-adults/

    This was a black kid in Virginia who killed a pregnant woman and people still felt that to try him as an adult was wrong if you read the comments.

    I would also bet that if this was the other way around, had the gay kid shot his bully people wouldn't be calling for him to be tried as an adult. Emotions are making people say things, I think, that they don't mean.

    I would certainly want to murder a child who murdered mine, because the emotions as a parent would drive me to desire that. Which is why most mothers are not allowed in courtrooms or are practically strip-searched.

    Our society has a court system for a reason, to find some "balance" in the end.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 5, 2011 11:23:07 AM


  11. this story just breaks my heart. he should be tried as an adult. it was quite scary the way he planned and executed his idea to kill larry. and i am certain that the jury cant come to a decision because of the sexuality aspect of it all. had larry been straight, there is no doubt in my mind that brandon would be in jail right now.

    sad.

    Posted by: bostonbeat | Oct 5, 2011 11:30:52 AM


  12. Rin, I'm pretty sure that if the gay kid had shot his bully, the same people who are defending McInerney now would be calling for the execution of King. While I understand and mostly agree with you about not trying juveniles as adults, the law right now says different. And considering his actions, and what the law says, I support locking him away for the rest of his natural life. Sometimes, justice and vengeance look the same.

    Posted by: antb | Oct 5, 2011 11:40:00 AM


  13. @ANTB

    Maybe you are right about SOME of the same people defending McInerney, but that is not me. I've been against these stupid laws from the beginning and I am not alone.

    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0303-04.htm

    Look at the conviction rates in these cases or how often they are overturned? It is a law so that all of the stone throwers can have their petty vengeance disguised as justice regardless of whether or not that IS justice.

    Unjust laws should be removed--or isn't that what people are trying to do with DOMA?

    Because the prosecutors feel they have to look tough in an election cycle NO JUSTICE was done. The next trial will go the same way and Lawrence will never have had justice served even in memory.

    NOW, as for the people who want to try his parents...I'm actually for that. This kid lived under their roof, should have been exposed to their mores and ethics...his whole family should be on trial.

    The school should also be on trial because of how poorly they managed the entire situation.

    This was a horrific tragedy. I think Brandon is a horrid excuse for a person right now, but I'm not going to say that its okay to try him as an adult when I've never said it before about any kid.

    8th graders--and this happened in the 8th grade are NOT adults.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 5, 2011 11:53:16 AM


  14. There's some gray here, but I find it wildly inappropriate and disgusting that the jury would wear these "Save Brandon" bracelets.

    "Save" him from what? The verdict you failed to deliver? Save him from justice for Larry King? Jesus Christ, this is so inappropriate!

    What is wrong with them? Even if you believe McInerey deserves a lighter sentence because of his age, wearing "Save Brandon" bracelets puts out the wrong message.

    They never forgot that Larry King was killed? They never forgot that McInerey tried to get a group together to assault him? that he told Larry's friend that she would never see him again? That he planned the murder? that he shot him execution style and then shot him again after a confrontation with his teacher?

    What exactly do you want to "save" Brandon McInerey from?

    Posted by: luminum | Oct 5, 2011 12:12:51 PM


  15. I would also bet that if this was the other way around, had the gay kid shot his bully people wouldn't be calling for him to be tried as an adult.

    RIN, this is the second time you've posted this stupid comment. Why don't you provide evidence of a gay kid killing a straight bully to prove your point?

    You can't, because it has never happened. We don't go around killing our tormentors. But pathetic people like you defend the indefensible--killers.

    You want to molly-coddle Brandon? Then fine, invite him into your neighborhood, and allow him to play with your kids.

    It's because of stupid people like you that this killer will go free to kill again. And I hope you are never the victim of violence, so you never have to go through what Lawrence's family is going through.

    You make me physically ill.

    Posted by: Mr. Enemabag Jones | Oct 5, 2011 12:14:04 PM


  16. @Rin: Whether anyone "wanted" McInerney to be tried as an adult is irrelevant. That decision is made by the prosecutor - not the jury - and the prosecutor had little choice given that the maximum juvenuile sentence would have freed McInerney in his 20's. Once that decision has been made, the only relevant question is whether McInerney was guily of the crime and the jury may not consider teh defendants age. And the jury appears to have gotten that wrong.

    Posted by: John | Oct 5, 2011 12:28:52 PM


  17. @MRENEMABAG JONES: "RIN, this is the second time you've posted this stupid comment. Why don't you provide evidence of a gay kid killing a straight bully to prove your point?"

    Oh, geez, I've forgotten his name, but there's a gay man doing a life sentence in California who, at 16, killed his tormentor.

    Posted by: Eric Payne | Oct 5, 2011 1:52:19 PM


  18. PLEASE, PLEASE TELL ME SOMEONE CAN CONTACT THE LARRY KING FAMILY AND MAKE A-JUSTICE FOR LARRY KING-STICKER, SHIRT, ETC...I AM NOT THAT ART SAAVOY, BUT WOULD GLADLY DISPLAY/WEAR ANYTHING AFTER SEEING THESE F/UP'D SAVE BRANDON BRACELETS. Sorry about the caps, but i am pissed!

    Posted by: BEWILDERBEAST | Oct 5, 2011 2:07:30 PM


  19. a gay kid shooting his bully is completely different from this case; how anyone can compare the two is beyond my comprehension; I for one don't mind see fewer bullies in this world because we know that a teen age bully grows up to be an adult bully who does much much worse than just teasing someone

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Oct 5, 2011 3:02:56 PM


  20. @Bewilderbeast: at least some of the problem is that Larry King didn't have a family. As the story reports, he was removed from his adoptive home and was a foster child.

    A little shocking to see someone move from English teacher to grocery store worker. I wonder if that was her choice? I must admit to mixed feelings about her giving Larry a dress. Supportive? Great. Facilitating his attacks in a roundabout way? Not so much.

    If they want a conviction, they need to charge Brandon as a child. But as another post has already indicated, they decided to go with the adult charge again. This is Orange County, the bastion of conservatism in CA.

    And on a lighter note, Juju is one of the most unusual names I've ever heard. But maybe because it's the name of my favorite album.

    Posted by: Paul R | Oct 5, 2011 3:15:03 PM


  21. @Mr Enemabag Jones,

    I've been raped before and that included a beating that left me hospitalized. Does that count for violence being done to me? I was in high school when it happened. My attackers were also mostly in high school. Don't think for one second that I don't know what it's like to live surrounded by violence or in fear for my life. I absolutely believed that I might be killed by my attackers.

    Now you can quit hoping that violence will happen to me and just be glad that it did. I can certainly assure you that I got my comeuppance that day, Now rejoice in the fact that the person that sickens you so much has had extreme violence done to her.

    That said...I still don't think children should be tried as adults.

    I am not trying to be a yenta when saying that were the situation reversed you would not want Lawrence King being tried as an adult. It is human nature. That is why jury selection is so scrutinized because we as humans cannot divorce ourselves from situations that easily.


    As for the "coddle Molly"...I have never even remotely said anything other than this horrible little monster should be behind bars. I think he murdered his classmate and is a horrible child. I do NOT think he should be walking the streets, in anyone's neighborhood. He is a violent person.

    What I said, and you are choosing to apply a false logic to it, is that I don't approve of children being tried as adults and neither do many judges and as you've seen...jury members. That doesn't mean that I want him freed and out running around having the life that Lawrence King will never have.

    This is not about me supporting Brandon because I don't. I'm not going to wear a "Free Brandon" bracelet because I don't think he should be free. I think he murdered his classmate and should be tried for murder and imprisoned. I think he's pretty much dead inside and you can't trust people like that walking around. I think Lawrence King's life deserves more than hung juries and posturing.

    It isn't about this one case. It is about the appropriateness and fairness to ALL of the child defendants who are stuck being tried as adults. I am NO DIFFERENT than the ACLU on this one. They do not support children being tried as adults, either.

    Posted by: Rin | Oct 5, 2011 7:52:27 PM


  22. TO THOSE WHO SAY HE'S JUST A KID I WAS A KID AND I NEVERRRR KILEEDD ANYYONNEEEEE!!!!!TO MAKE THIS COLD KILLER INTO SOME KID IS BS,I WAS A KID AND I DIDNT COME FROM A PERFECT HOME AND I NEVER KILLED ANYONE!!!! AND THE JURORS WHO SET THIS KILLER FREE MAY THEY FACE A "KID" LIKE THIS WHO WILL HARM THEM AND DESTROY THEIR LIFE AND I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEM SING A DIFFERENT TUNE!!! SOMEONE IS DEADDDDD!!!! WHO WEEPS FOR HIM???

    Posted by: sal | Oct 5, 2011 11:44:23 PM


  23. All this Brandon love on here is...touching...
    Im sure hed be happy to meet an kill any one of you!...his loyal public.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 5, 2011 11:54:55 PM


  24. Oh..and to the fun ones engaging in the Brandon cuddle fest...
    "His hormones were raging"
    "He didnt have the experience to cope"
    "An adult killing someone is a totally different thing..."

    Adults get off from murder for all kinds of reasons, real and imaginary.
    What is the cutoff age for being culpable?
    12? 10? 8?
    When would be a good time to say "You are a big boy now, here are you consequnces.."

    Oh yeah, and "If hes not old enough to have the responsiblity to drive, he cant be held accountable for murder"???

    Well, at 14 hes physically able to procreate, cause severe physical harm to children and adults...and (gasp) kill someone.

    At 14, I knew damn well what murder was, and sorry, for every teen like him that "had a bad life" and killed...25 others had a bad life, and didnt.

    Posted by: JT | Oct 6, 2011 12:09:07 AM


  25. I can't believe im about to tyoe this but I wish one of the children of these jurors is murdered by a 14 year old and then tell the world how they feel. I knew motherfuckin well at 14, hell, even 10 that to kill someone is WROOOOONG!!! No amount of child abuse in the world is an excuse to plan and carry out an execution on an innocent defenseless person. I dont know how this jurors sleep at night. If i saw them it would take all i had not to spit in their faces.

    Posted by: Catman | Oct 6, 2011 6:58:42 PM


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