James Bing, the 24-year-old half-brother of accused killer Brandon McInerney, described horrific tales of abuse involving McInerney's father during testimony in the trial of his sibling.
Without mentioning the name of Lawrence King, the 15-year-old gay California student whom the younger McInerney is accused of killing in 2008, Bing described Billy McInerney punching, kicking, and beating his son, Brandon, and two stepsons. Billy McInerney died in 2009 after a fall in his home, and drugs and alcohol were in his system. Drugs were a constant in the McInerney household, according to Bing. Both Billy and Kendra McInerney, Brandon's mother, would take drugs such as crystal methamphetamine and be up for days on end. Kendra McInerney, who says she's been sober for years, was in court Tuesday and sobbed during her son's testimony.
Brandon McInerney's lawyers are trying to illustrate that the teenager saw violence as a solution to problems. McInerney may have irrationally viewed King as a menace because the flamboyant King blew kisses to McInerney as a playful defense against his teasing and threats.
Bing also answered questions about Matt Reaume, a white supremacist who Bing lived with at the time of King's death. Brandon McInerney spent the weekend at Reaume and Bing's apartment before the February 2008 shooting of Lawrence King. Bing said that Reaume was not a white supremacist, but a white separatist -- prosecutors say McInerney was a white supremacist who killed King because of an intense hatred for minorities, including gays. McInerney, 17, is charged with murder and a hate crime.
Additional testimony came from a counselor at Oxnard, Calif.'s E.O. Green Middle School. Mona Henniger told the court that the day before King's death, she and assistant vice principal Joy Epstein told him that wearing high heels and makeup would put him in danger, since his peers did not understand his gender expression. The next day, the day he was shot twice in the head, King came to school wearing flats and no makeup. Read the full report in the Ventura County Star.