For the second time in as many weeks, the defense team of the California teen accused of killing gay classmate Lawrence King has requested a mistrial. Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell denied the motion filed by the defense for 17-year-old Brandon McInerney, reports the Ventura County Star.
McInerney's lawyer, Scott Wippert, argued that, among other things, various slides and images presented during the testimony of a white supremacy expert had never been shown to the defense beforehand — a violation of discovery rules — and would unduly influence the jury. [...]
Last week, [Detective Swanson] gave a detailed analysis on why he believes McInerney was a white supremacist and gang member and why those associations were part of the reason he shot King, who professed to be gay. Wippert argued that Swanson was the most important witness in the prosecution's case. Campbell balked at that, asking if the former classmates who testified seeing McInerney shoot King were really the crux of the case.
Wippert also asked for a continuance to give him more time to prepare to cross-examine Swanson. Campbell also denied that request. Before the mistrial debate began, Campbell also ruled on a request to squash a defense subpoena ordering a [group home] employee to testify.
Prosecutors are also seeking to quash McInerney's "gay panic" defense. The defense has portrayed Lawrence King as as sexually "aggressive" and suggests that McInerney was "provoked." Prosecutors asked the judge last week to instruct jurors to disgregard King's sexuality.
McInerney shot his classmate twice in the head at point-blank range at a computer lab in Oxnard's E.O. Green School in February 2008. Up to 30 students witnessed the shooting. McInerney is being tried as an adult for the murder.
The state also alleges McInerney had close ties to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, which has led to a hate crime charge. Investigators testified that when they raided McInerney's home, they seized Nazi and white supremacist literature, as well guns, books and DVDs on school shootings.
McInerney faces up to 53 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges. The trial was moved to Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley because of pretrial publicity. The defense is expected to resume its case when the jury returns today.
Rod 2.0's complete coverage on Lawrence King HERE.