Jury deadlocks in case of boy accused of murdering gay classmate

Thu. September 1, 2011 9:26 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

Oxnard, Calif. - The jury hearing murder charges against Brandon McInerney, who is accused of shooting gay classmate Larry King at point-blank range, announced Thursday that they were hopelessly deadlocked and would never be able to reach a verdict.

The basic facts of the murder were never in dispute: in 2008, when McInerney was 14 and King was 15, McInerney brought a gun to E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif., and shot King during a computer lab.

A hundred witnesses, mostly from the school, testified about what happened in the weeks leading up to the murder.

King had been wearing women's boots and taunting his straight classmates by flirting with them, witnesses testified.

McInerney told psychologists that King had called him "baby" and that King's attention made him snap.

Gay rights activists said this amounted to a so-called "gay panic defense" -- "I killed him because he hit on me".

But defense witnesses said the McInerney had been abused by his addict father, who hit him when he cried, and that he was a confused but bright boy who didn't know how to handle himself. McInerney's father died in an accident after the murder.

Jurors might have also had issues with the fact that McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the murder, was being tried as an adult.