Brandon McInerney takes a plea deal

This should have happened years ago:

A teenager who fatally shot a gay classmate in the back of the head during an Oxnard middle school computer lab will spend 21 years in prison under a plea deal reached Monday, closing the books on a case that drew international headlines and ignited debate on how schools should handle sexual identity issues.

Brandon McInerney, who was 14 when he pulled a gun out of his backpack and shot Larry King two times at point-blank range, will be kept behind bars until he is 38 under the terms of the deal struck by Ventura County prosecutors.

In an unusual arrangement, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree and voluntary manslaughter. In return, prosecutors agreed not to go forward with a second trial, which could have resulted in a life sentence.

What makes this unusual is not that McInerney received a 21 year sentence. Rather, it is the charge. He brought a gun to school, sat behind Lawrence King and then shot him in the back of the head. According to California’s penal code, voluntary manslaughter is a killing committed in the heat of passion or in the moment. That really does not describe what McInerney did. Continue reading

Brandon McInernery to be retried as an adult

Prosecutors decided to retry Brandon McInerney as an adult for the killing of Lawrence King, however, they dropped the hate crime charge:

Prosecutors on Wednesday announced their intention to pursue a murder charge in adult court against 17-year-old Brandon McInerney. However, a hate crime charge will be dropped, Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox said.

Last month, a judge declared a mistrial after a nine-woman, three-man panel couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on the degree of McInerney’s guilt for killing 15-year-old Larry King. After a series of votes, seven jurors were in favor of a voluntary manslaughter conviction, while five others supported either first-degree or second-degree murder.

Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell set a Nov. 21 trial date, according to Fox, but it’s unclear if it will be held in Ventura County. The first trial was moved to Los Angeles County due to pretrial publicity.

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