More than three years after 15-year-old Lawrence King was gunned down in his class—in front of up to 30 students—the murder trial of his former classmate and accused killer Brandon McInerney began this week in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley. Opening statements were Tuesday and the first witnesses for the prosecution testified on Wednesday.
A junior high teacher testified on Friday that she supported King's gradual gender identity transformation in the weeks before the February 2008 shooting and even offered makeup tips, reported the Ventura County Star.
"I told him that less is better. You don't want people to focus on your makeup, you want it to enhance the natural beauty you have," she testified Friday at the trial of Brandon McInerney, accused of killing King in an Oxnard classroom three years ago.
Other students would snicker behind King's back or ask him why he was wearing pink eye shadow instead of purple, but Boldrin stuck up for him. "I encouraged him," she said. "You should support people in their difference because it takes a lot of guts to be different in today's world, especially in eighth grade."
When King said he was having a hard time at home and had been placed in foster care, Boldrin and her daughter bought him a gift of nail polish, she testified. About a month before the shooting, Boldrin brought him a green, spaghetti-strap homecoming dress wrapped in a leopard-print gift bag with fuzzy handles. She gave it to him privately when no other students were around, although he did try it on in a school bathroom, she said.
The teacher counseled King to respect other students' views only a half an hour before a classmate killed him, reports the LA Times.
"I said, 'I think it's great. I support you. But you can't make everyone believe what you believe and it's not your right to make them try,' " Boldrin recounted of the few moments they spoke as they walked to a computer lab. That morning, McInerney took a seat behind King because he didn't have a paper to work on like the rest of the class, Boldrin said. As she was helping other students she heard what she thought was a computer blowing up.
She looked over and saw McInerney standing with smoke around him. She shouted "What the hell are you doing Brandon!" Relaying what happened next was the only time Boldrin became emotional on the stand. "I believe at that time there was a second shot," she said, tearing up.
Police say McInerney shot his classmate twice in the head at point-blank range in a computer lab. The state also alleges McInerey had close ties to white supremacists and neo-Nazis, which has led to a hate crime charge.
A student testified on Friday that she saw McInerney drawing "Nazi iconography during an English class and that once after school she saw him hanging out with older boys with swastika tattoos on their arms," reports LAT. The teacher also testified "that one day he came to school with a shaved head and said something about white power, but she dismissed it as a joke." But other students have testified that the majority of McInerney's friends were Black or Latino.
The defense has portrayed King as sexually "aggressive" and suggests that McInerney was "provoked". The theory was first advanced by Newsweek in a disturbing cover story—describing the 4-foot-11 Lawrence King as sexually harassing his male classmates.
McInerney is being tried as an adult for the murder of his classmate. McInerney has plead not guilty and rejected a plea bargain. McInerney faces 53 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges.
Rod 2.0's complete coverage on Lawrence King HERE.