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Larry King Murder Trial: Prosecutors to retry Brandon McInerney for jr. high killing

Brandon McInerney was just 14-years-old when he was accused of gunning down a gay classmate, Larry King, in front of stunned students at a Ventura County middle school. Personal Photo

Larry King, slain Oxnard, Calif. junior high school student
Personal Photo

(CBS/KCBS/AP) VENTURA, Calif. -- Brandon McInerney, the teen accused of killing gay classmate Larry King, will be retried for murder after a first trial in which jurors could not reach a unanimous verdict.

Prosecutors on Wednesday announced their intention to pursue a murder charge in adult court against the now 17-year-old McInerney. However, a hate crime charge will be dropped, Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox said.

A mistrial was declared last month after jurors couldn't reach a unanimous decision on the degree of McInerney's guilt for killing the 15-year-old. After a series of votes, seven jurors were in favor of a voluntary manslaughter conviction, while five others supported either first-degree or second-degree murder.

Another hearing has been set for Nov. 21, but it's unclear if it will be held in Ventura County. The first trial was moved to Los Angeles County due to pretrial publicity.

McInerney was 14 in February 2008, when he is accused of killing King at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif. during a computer lab class.

Prosecutors claimed McInerney embraced a white supremacist philosophy that sees homosexuality as an abomination, after police found Nazi-inspired drawings and artifacts at his house. They also argued that the shooting was premeditated, after multiple witnesses stated they heard McInerney make threats against King in the days leading to the shooting.

Defense attorneys acknowledged that McInerney was the shooter but explained that he had reached an emotional breaking point after King made repeated, unwanted sexual advances. They also have argued that juvenile court would be the best venue to try their client.

  • Camille Mann

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