McInerney's Lawyer: I Won't Gay-Bash
BY Peter DelVecchio
June 13 2008 12:00 AM ET
A California judge on Thursday postponed the arraignment of 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, charged with premeditated murder with a special hate-crime allegation in the slaying of 15-year-old gay classmate Lawrence King. This is the second postponement in just over a month.
According to witnesses, on February 12, McInerney shot King in the head just as first period began in a packed classroom at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, a port city of 200,000 about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.
Ventura County superior court judge Kevin McGee continued the arraignment until July 24 to permit McInerneyâ€™s attorney, Senior Deputy Public Defender William Quest, to file a motion which, if successful, would transfer the case to juvenile court. McInerney has been charged as an adult under Proposition 21, a controversial 2000 law enacted by ballot initiative that affords district attorneys almost unilateral discretion to try juveniles as young as 14 as adults for certain felonies.
In a telephone interview with The Advocate on Wednesday, Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox, who is prosecuting the case, said that â€śthe biggest, obvious differenceâ€ť between the juvenile system and the adult system is that the â€śrange of punishment if we keep him in adult court is much broader, and the maximum potential based on the charges that he faces now is 53 [years] to life. Fourteen- and 15-year-olds cannot receive life without the possibility of parole in California.â€ť
As for the hate-crime enhancement, Fox said that â€śas far as the punishment goes, it doesnâ€™t add anything significant. Itâ€™s one, two, or three years additional.â€ť
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