Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected
LAist needs your help: Why we're asking everyone who values our journalism to donate today

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Prosecutors Will Not Retry Larry King Case As a Hate Crime, Jurors From First Trial Show Up Wearing 'Save Brandon' Bracelets

We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Prosecutors in Ventura County decided that they will retry Brandon McInerney, the teen who shot his gay classmate Larry King point blank at his middle school in Oxnard.

But because they had trouble winning a conviction against McInerney in the last trial, prosecutors will not charge him with a hate crime, likely a tactical move intended to win a conviction against McInerney. Although no one disputes that McInerney pulled the trigger on his classmate Larry King in 2008, the justice system has wrestled with how exactly to charge him.

The last jury deadlocked on the question of whether to convict McInerney of manslaughter or first- or second-degree murder. Many of the jurors told reporters after the trial that they thought the charges against the Oxnard teen were too harsh, because he was tried as an adult and not a teen. If he was convicted as an adult, he could be locked up for life. On the other hand, McInerney could be released from prison as early as 25 if he went through the juvenile system.

Legal experts — and the prosecutors themselves admit — that a second trial may not be any easier than the first.

Support for LAist comes from

"Jurors felt prosecutors overcharged and they were clearly not comfortable putting the boy away for life," Laurie Levenson, a Loyola Law School professor and former federal prosecutor told the Los Angeles Times.

Some of them were so uncomfortable that they showed up at today's hearing. Three of the jurors from the first trial actually showed up at the hearing, wearing “Save Brandon” bracelets, according to the Los Angeles Times.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for next month to decide whether or not to move the case out of Ventura County again.

Most Read