Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

News

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

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

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.