Editor's PickLegal & Financial

California teen faces 21 years for killing gay classmate

A Southern California teenager who shot a gay classmate to death three years ago avoided a retrial by pleading guilty to second-degree murder, a deal that will send him to prison for 21 years. Brandon McInerney (now 17) pleaded guilty to the murder charge, as well as one count each of voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm. The case drew wide attention because of its shocking premise: McInerney, in a fit of homophobic rage, killed 15-year-old Larry King at school because he was offended by King’s dress and how the victim interacted with him. McInerney was only 14 at the time of the 2/08 shooting. Several jurors said after the teen’s trial that he should never have been tried as an adult.

The victim’s mother said she was told that her son had a civil right to explore his sexual identity. Prosecutors contended McInerney embraced a white supremacist philosophy that sees homosexuality as an abomination. Police found Nazi-inspired drawings and artifacts at his house, and a white supremacist expert testified at trial the hate-filled ideology was the reason for the killing.

[via The Associated Press]