Karen Ocamb

McInerney Suffered Physical, Sexual Abuse, Brother Says

Filed By Karen Ocamb | August 06, 2011 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Brandon McInerney, Chatsworth, James Bing, Larry King, Lawrence King, Maeve Fox, physical abuse, sexual abuse, trial

The defense in Brandon McInerney's murder trial underway in Chatsworth is trying to suggest that his abusive childhood was a strong contributing factor behind the then-14-year-old's shooting of his 15-year-old gay classmate Larry King in their Oxnard classroom in February 2008.

The Ventura County Star reported that McInerney's aunt, Megan Csorba, his father Billy's sister, testified on Thursday that Brandon's father - who died in 2009 - "would sit on his son until he couldn't breathe, pull his thumb back until he screamed, and punch him in the face."

Csorba testified that the physical and verbal abuse started when Brandon was 7 and only got worse when Billy was on drugs, which apparently was often. She also testified that Brandon's mother Kendra was also a victim of Billy's abuse and also abused drugs - smoking crystal methamphetamine when she was pregnant with Brandon.

Under cross-examination by prosecutor Maeve Fox, Csorba admitted she had never called the police, saying: "I was going through my own abuse and I was not gonna do that to my brother." She also testified that, according to Billy, Brandon has been molested by a cousin.

Fox believes McInerney murdered King because he was a budding white supremacist who hated gays.

History teacher Arthur Saenz testified that he saw King, wearing high heel boots and make-up, parade back and forth in front of Brandon and his friends the day before the shooting. The teacher saw Brandon's friends laughing at him and Brandon had "a lot of anger and rage" watching King.

The Star reports:

"Saenz saw then-assistant principal Joy Epstein survey the scene, wag two fingers at Brandon and say something about "rights." The school administration had previously sent out an email saying it was within King's rights to dress that way.

A few minutes later, Saenz saw Billy coming to pick up his son. Saenz thought Brandon was a smart student but not applying himself, so the teacher told his father.

"That is when his father got extremely upset and he said, 'Brandon, what are you doing? You are going to military school and never going to see the light of day,' " Saenz testified. "I looked at Brandon and you could see him crumbling right there."

Shortly later, Saenz was in Epstein's office with a student and his aunt when King opened the door and stuck his head in. The aunt looked at King in his boots and makeup in disbelief, Saenz said.

"That is junior high," Saenz remembered Epstein saying.

King was fatally shot the next day.

Under cross-examination, Saenz said he didn't report what he now thinks was sexual harassment by King because he thought Epstein was handling it. "She is an administrator and it is her job to handle that situation, not mine."

Meanwhile, FOX 11?s Christina Gonzalez interviewed Brandon's brother James Bing about the sexual abuse Brandon allegedly suffered as a child:

Billy felt that we didn't really handle it the right way with the sexual act thing. It kind of all balled up inside of him and then all of this stuff happened with this other boy's sexual advances and he was a young kid with all that going on. It was too much for him to handle. I just hope that the true evidence comes out about who my brother really is. He's not a monster. He's not a white supremacist.

Gay Teen Murder Defendant's Brother Talks About Testimony: MyFoxLA.com

(Cross-posted at LGBT POV)

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Angela Brightfeather | August 6, 2011 12:14 PM

The facts in this murder case are so tragic. One moment your so mad and the next your wondering how you can hold anyone but society and his parents responsible for the killing.

One of the most tragic things about this is that as GLBT people, we work so hard to educate people about our lives and ask them to try to understand and pass that education on. To abandon their hate and discomfort. But deep down we know that the harder we try, the more we have the voices of religious leaders, white supremicist leaders and hate mongers, imploring those that fall into their sphere of influence, to continue to teach their children how to hate us and enforce that teaching by their own mistreatment and abuse of those children. The saddest thing is that the worse the economy and divisions in our country continue to grow, the more this type of murder will happen.

In this case, and due to the age of the child and the aledged mistreatment and abuse that happened to him, I would extempt the boy from the hate crime ruling, at the very least. If his father was still alive, perhaps the hate crime part of this ruling should be applied to him.

I would not want to be sitting on this jury.

Paige Listerud | August 6, 2011 1:50 PM

This is shaping up to be quite the community tragedy. Adults failed these children, but what adults are going to be held responsible?

As for Brandon being tried as an adult, that's whacked, hate crime or not.

The subtext here is still that gay people (regardless of innocence of abusing anyone) are fair game for 1st degree murder. Oh please, an extroverted gay kid who wears guy liner is harassing someone by walking past them?
Someone ELSE'S past abuse of Brian McInerny is why he plots and plans and bullies the person who DIDN'T abuse him because the kid he's attacking belongs to a group he's been taught to distrust?

How many damn times to we have to hear these hail mary defenses of 1st degree murder is because of LONG past sexual abuse?
No matter how LUDICROUS the scenario in which the murder occurred. These types of homicides have a profile too. Gay men and women are typically outclassed in physical type and outnumbered at the time of the attack. It's usually committed by someone acquainted with them (full knowledge of the victim's orientation), or if strangers, they either stalk or LIE IN WAIT.
They bring weapons (indicating aforethought) and have at some point been known to have hostility towards members of the LGBT.

This is a bullshit defense, which only foments the stereotype that a gay person is a threat simply by displaying mannerisms associated with gay or trans people.
LK was an extroverted (and cute) kid who liked to perform and was a talented enough singer so that a teacher WOULD encourage them dressing up and supporting aspirations in the performing arts. What's so outrageous about THAT?

However, when someone coldly commits homicides on someone gay, they ALWAYS seem to pull the 'it's because the perpetrator was sexually abused' defense out of their asses.
Yeah, taking revenge on who DIDN'T do it to you makes a LOT of sense.

This was a small campus. LK and BM didn't have much option of AVOIDING each other. BM's trash parents and brother, and his trash upbringing are the reason for his rage. They need to OWN it, and quit putting it on the gay community in the lowest possible way.

What defense does a GAY person have from such situations in another person's past? These invisible lines that people draw and no gay person has any idea they are infringing on, is irrational.
Then NO ONE can think themselves safe from anti gay rage that comes with the permission and encouragement from the very defense being mounted here.

I cannot begin to tell you all how PISSED I am at this crap!

The more I read about this tragedy the angerier I get. Teachers who stand by and do nothing… From my life experiances, growing up in the deep south in the 60’s I learned how to use guns at the very young age of 6. I also learned about death along with that and where my dinner comes from. I was abused and assaulted numerous times and after all of those times I wished I could do something… I had free access to guns and knew how to use them but I never did. I understood that killing someone was wrong.

One of the things I also had to deal with in school was when I got in to fights, even at 3 to 1 against me I was in the wrong and the teachers often went to extremely silly lenghts to make it seem like the 3 were victims and I was the bully. (yeah, my face really bruised up their knuckles really badly)
With these people only now saying that Larry King was the bully… Really leaves me pissed off at them and to me they have no credibility any more.
At the end of the day, Brandon McInerney did do the crime. I really don’t care about McInerney’s defense looking for a twinkie to pin it on. Larry King didn’t pose a real threat to McInerney at all.
Having had a classmate in 6th grade who actually did commit a crime that led to a death (he tossed a concrete block off an over pass and it went through the windsheild of a car passing below crushing a 70 year old womans chest) McInerney will be sent to jail until he’s 18. After that he’ll be released and be in and out of lock up for the rest of his short life. His teachers? Odds are they’re just trying to ‘fix’ their fuck up by doing the wrong thing again.

This story of horror brings to me both grief and anger. I have some inkling of the emotions of both boys for I was on both sides of that chasm growing up.

Terribly abused at home (my sister says,"I watched you brutalized physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychologically every day of your life.")And a target for every bully in school outside of home. The bullies I handled by becoming a tiny but skilled, strong and exceptionally vicious fighter who injured opponents, to my eternal shame and regret.

However, I grew up, through lots and lots of good psychotherapy and many years of university training to become a therapist and in my 27 year career, I maintained at least a part of my practice devoted to helping men and women a lot like Brandon. The work was difficult and occasionally dangerous but so satisfying when I could see some deeply wounded human being finally healing.

I want to "call out" the Court Systems. Somwhere along the line the courts seemed to start thinking that behavior which can be explained and understood, should be excused. WRONG!!! FAIL!!!One of the primary purposes of the Criminal Justice System is to protect all of the rest of of us and Brandon, Goddess love him, is dangerous and will be dangerous unless and until he is either helped to heal (a multi-year individual therapy process), killed, possibly ages out of that rage in his late 50's or, as is more common today heavily medicated, a process fraught with opportunities for failure.

Can Brandon be healed? I don't know. I have not seen this patient thus I simply can neither suggest a diagnosis nor prognosis beyond saying that he is dangerous. He too has been a victim right along and it saddens me to the point of tears that he will continue to be a victim for many years. It would be kinder to put this lad to death.

When I think of Larry, I cry. I see me at that age - not quite as flamboyant but definitely as androgenous/femme.
Victimized by his society, family and negligent school authorities...He did not have to die.

There are no winners. There is no defense. There is only,"What can we do now/" The available answers are inadequate. I weep for us all.


I was abused as a child. I was certainly bullied. And you know what? I didn't take a gun to school and shoot another kid in the head.

Sorry. I feel for the boy. But he didn't have to do what he did, and he should not get a pass for doing it just because something went wrong in his life previous to the murder.