The judge in the Brandon McInerney trial has ordered jurors to continue deliberating "even though they have been unable to reach a verdict" despite repeated attempts, report the Los Angeles Times and Ventura County Star.
The jury foreman said it didn't seem like more votes or deliberation would change the outcome. The trial lasted eight weeks and the jury has been deliberating for about 15 hours. The jury got the case on Friday, but several days they deliberated for only two to three hours.
If the jury can't reach a decision and a mistrial is declared, the Ventura County District Attorney's office could re-file the murder charges against McInerney or they could offer McInerney a plea deal to avoid another lengthy trial. Previous offers of 25-years to life were rejected by McInerney's lawyers because of the "to life" part.
McInerney shot his 15-year-old gay classmate Lawrence King twice in the head at point-blank range in an Oxnard classroom in February 2008. More than 30 students witnessed the shooting. The trial was moved to Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley because of pretrial publicity in Ventura County.
Witnesses have testified that King's "feminine attire" and gender identity was upsetting some students and faculty at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard. The defense has portrayed King as sexually "aggressive" and suggested that McInerney was "provoked."
McInerney is being tried as an adult for the murder. The state also alleges McInerney had close ties to white supremacists, which has led to a hate crime charge. Jurors can consider first-degree, second-degree and manslaughter charges. McInerney faces up to 53 years to life in prison if convicted of first degree murder.
All decisions must be unanimous or the jury is hung.
Rod 2.0's complete coverage on Lawrence King HERE.