These kids were only in Middle School…Middle School!
A California teen pleaded guilty on Monday to second-degree murder for shooting to death a 15-year-old gay classmate at his middle school who he said made unwanted sexual advances. The plea by Brandon McInerney, under an agreement with Ventura County prosecutors, brings to a close an emotionally charged case that previously resulted in a hung jury on a charge of murder with a hate crime enhancement. McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting in 2008, will be sentenced to 21 years in prison without time off for good behavior when he appears before a judge in December, prosecutors said.
The case drew wide attention because of its shocking premise: McInerney, in a fit of homophobic rage, killed classmate Larry King because he was offended by King’s dress and how the victim interacted with him. Prosecutors said McInerney, now 17, took a gun to E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard and sat in a computer lab with King before shooting him in the back of the head and then firing at him as he lay on the ground. King died two days later after he was removed from life support at a local hospital. King, 15, was openly gay, and McInerney’s attorneys argued he made sexual advances against their client.
Ventura County prosecutors said McInerney targeted King because of his sexuality and they stressed that King, far from being the aggressor, was being bullied and was 30 pounds lighter than McInerney. Prosecutors also contended McInerney embraced a white supremacist philosophy that sees homosexuality as an abomination. Police found Nazi-inspired drawings and artifacts at his house, and a white supremacist expert testified at trial the hate-filled ideology was the reason for the killing.
Defense attorneys acknowledged McInerney was the shooter but explained he had reached an emotional breaking point after King made repeated, unwanted sexual advances. They also argued their client came from a violent upbringing and juvenile court would have been the best venue to try him.
So sad…this boy deserves more than 21 years.