Prosecutors will ask a judge in the trial of the California teen accused of killing a gay classmate to instruct jurors to disregard the victim's sexuality. Prosecutors are seeking to quash Brandon McInerney's "gay panic" defense in the murder of his 15-year-old classmate Lawrence King, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Ventura County Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox this week said she would invoke the Araujo law when the case is sent to the jury, asking that the panel of nine women and three men be instructed not to let biases toward the victim's sexual identity influence their deliberations. [...]
McInerney's trial on a first-degree murder charge is in its third week in a Chatsworth courtroom. Multiple students have testified that King, who had recently been placed in foster care, began showing up at school in feminine accessories and makeup.
Fox has told jurors that McInerney was motivated not only by his dislike of King but by a budding white supremacy ideology that holds homosexuality as an abomination. He is also charged with a hate crime.
Defense attorney Scott Wippert in opening statements said he would show that McInerney was a good kid who came from a broken, violent home filled with firearms and was provoked into the attack by King's repeated sexual advances.
The prosecution is expected to wrap its case today. For three days this week, a police detective outlined the defendant's anti-gay and white supremacist leanings. Investigators previously testified that when they raided McInerney's home, they seized Nazi and white supremacist literature, as well guns, books and DVDs on school shootings.
The defense is not expected to cross-examine the detective's lengthy testimony "until Monday", reports the Ventura County Star. "The case is now off the original estimated end date of Aug. 2 and some [defense] witnesses are going on vacation, so he will put them on the stand on Friday.
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. Witnesses called so far have included a teacher and administrator testifying about King's gender identity, and students who testified about McInerney's previous threats to kill King.
The trial was moved to Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley because of pretrial publicity. McInerney faces up to 53 years to life in prison if convicted of all charges. Rod 2.0's complete coverage on Lawrence King HERE.