Lawyers argue teen gunman is victim, not racist
August 12, 2011
Defense lawyers for a Ventura County teen accused of shooting a gay classmate to death attempted to undermine the prosecution’s argument that the killing was a hate crime motivated by white supremacist sympathies. [The Californian]
Brandon McInerney, now 17, is accused of taking a .22 caliber revolver to his junior high school classroom on Feb. 12, 2008, just a few weeks after his 14th birthday and shooting gay classmate Larry King, who wore high heels and told McInery that he loved him.
At issue isn’t whether McInerney pulled the trigger but whether it was done out of hate fueled by homophobia, which carries enhanced penalties.
His attorneys say he was the victim of a violent upbringing who was unable to articulate his rage and frustration at unwanted sexual advances from Larry. They tried to discredit a detective who said he found a trove of Nazi paraphernalia and other emblems of racist ideology at McInerney’s home.
The defense was expected to rest Friday, with closing arguments likely next week.