Karen Ocamb

Larry King Murder Trial Underway in Chatsworth

Filed By Karen Ocamb | July 07, 2011 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: anti-gay violence, Brandon McInerney, hate crimes against LGBT people, Larry King, white supremacy

KABC got an interview with McInerney's older brother, James Bing, outside the courtroom on Tuesday where Brandon McInerney is on trial for the first degree murder of then-15 year old Larry King. Bing was kicked out of the courtroom by the judge after it was learned that he had spoken to jurors prior to the trial. Here he tells the Eyewitness News reporter that his brother - who was then 14 - was "an "A" student who made a terrible mistake."

"My brother isn't the monster that the district attorney's making him out to be. She calls him all these bad names, that he's such an evil kid, but he's really not. This is the first time he's ever been in trouble in his life in any way. He never had a detention," said Bing.

"Two kids are basically losing their lives. I'm sorry for Larry King's family as well. I feel so sorry for them, but at the same time I want to have my brother back," said Bing.

The case Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox is presenting, however, indicates that Brandon was a budding white supremacist - not an innocent who just made a mistake.

This is from the Ventura County Star:

She said McInerney had easy access to guns in his house, such as the .22 that he used in the crime. When she described how McInerney sat behind King and fired two shots, she clapped her hands.

Fox said McInerney was a budding white supremacist who had Nazi and "white power" drawings in his notebook, along with a copy of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in his book bag.

She focused on one drawing of an eyeball of a "lone wolf," one of the theories of white supremacy that says a believer can act on his own to help protect the white race from all evils, including homosexuality.

McInerney's lead attorney, Scott Wippert, told the jury the evidence would show that what happened should not have happened, "it was an unnecessary tragedy because a 14-year-old boy was emotionally pushed over the edge."

"A 14-year-old boy who was being sexually harassed by Larry King," he said.

Wippert said King was a known problem at school for harassing other boys sexually and making inappropriate remarks. He had been warned about making sexual advances as early as the fifth grade and part of his goals a counselor had set for him recently included not making sexual advances on people, he said.

Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out is among those who think Wippert is using a "gay panic" defense, even as he says in court that this isn't about whether Larry King was gay:

Gay panic. The suggestion that if a person feels uncomfortable because a gay person flirts with him, that murder is somehow on the spectrum of Reasonable Responses. I do remember from the days immediately after King's murder that he did seem to have a crush of some sort on Brandon McInerney. That happens, especially in the formative years of high school.

My feeling on this case has always been that it was tragic all around - that a kid like Larry could be murdered in cold blood at school just for being who he is, and that a kid like Brandon could have been raised/neglected in such a way that he would feel justified in taking Larry's life. But the suggestion from the defense that a little 15 year-old gay boy who liked to wear make-up was the aggressor in a situation which resulted in his own murder is beyond disgusting.

(Crossposted at LGBT POV)

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There is no excuse for what he did.

He planned it. He found a gun, packed, took it to school, pulled it out and shot Larry. There is NO excuse. His parents shold be held accountable as well for the abuse/neglect of their son. The sad part is we taxpayers have to pay for his jail/prison time. He will get an education and have better health care than I do. After 30 or 40 years they will let this well trained criminal out where he will have a hard time finding a job or a place to live and will end up commiting a crime to get sent back to what he knows best, prison. No matter what, there will be no justice.

Gaytorguy | July 8, 2011 8:00 PM

Was it premeditation? Well, let's see. McInerney thought about it. McInerney considered what to do. McInerney decided to go to where guns were stored and chose a gin he could fit into his book bag. McInerney considered doing this/maybe not doing this until he was in class. McInerney pulled the gun from the bag. McInerney unlocked the safety. McInerney raised the gun and pointed it. McInerney shot twice.
Seems like McInerney did a lot of premeditation prior to the act.
Did McInerney ever go and complain to a teacher, or administration? Haven't heard if this was so or not.
Gay Panic where a guy who thinks he is macho and tougher than a pansy-assed fairy (That is their thinking about gay boys and men) gets unwanted attention or an unwanted flirt and so the result is to shoot him to death. Or shoot him at all! Like killing a mosquito with a cannon in a sick sort of way.
So, his defense attorney wants a hate crime to be a crime of reasonable protection?

I just watched the 20/20 show featuring this case. This situation is most upsetting. While it is understandable for the defense team to do everything possible to help their client, the facts here are most important. The jury obviously needs to have such horror visited upon them. This young man did commit 1st Degree murder with out a doubt. Give me a break! For any adult to find blame with any one else for these kinds of acts is a sign of the times. What's next? Soon it will be open season for anything. If this murderer was so bothered why didn't his wonderful parents step in and move him to another school? They should be charged as accomplices. If this guy escapes justice then I think it might send a message to all bullied children that it is acceptable to murder their bullies. How does that idea work for those idiots out there in California? Put that hateful thing down now before he gets released and does it again!

Rachel Bellum | October 8, 2011 2:07 AM

I watched, a day or two ago, a TV news video linked off The Advocate where members of the jury were wearing rubber bracelets in support of Brandon McInerney (post-trial).