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Prosecutors on McInerney: We're Retrying Him

Prosecutors on McInerney: We're Retrying Him

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Nbroverman

A plea deal for Brandon McInerney looks less likely, as prosecutors in Ventura County, Calif., announced today that they intend to retry the case of the 17-year-old, who more than three years ago fatally shot gay teen Lawrence King twice in the head.

A judge declared the original case a mistrial on Thursday, as a 12-member jury couldn't decide whether to convict McInerney as an adult of first-degree murder or voluntary manslaughter. The jurors agreed that McInerney's actions didn't constitute a hate crime, which the prosecutors charged McInerney with, even though King occasionally wore makeup and high heels and was called a "faggot" by McInerney and some of his peers at Oxnard, Calif.'s E.O. Green Middle School.

Legal experts have said charging McInerney, barely 14 at the time of the February 2008 shooting, as an adult might have been a mistake, even though California law allows it. Some said jurors would be hard-pressed to send a youth away for more than 50 years, as a first-degree murder conviction would have done. A voluntary manslaughter conviction, which McInerney's defense team sought, would have brought about 20 years in prison.

"We will consider the fact that this was a very significantly split jury. We will consider everything," Chief Assistant District Attorney Jim Ellison told the Los Angeles Times. "There are obviously very strong reactions on both sides, and we will consider all those in how we proceed."

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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.