News (USA)

Judge denies defense request to delay trial in shooting death of gay teen

Lawrence King

A California judge has denied a request by defense attorneys to delay the trial of a teen accused of murdering a gay classmate.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell turned down the request from Brandon McInerney’s attorneys who were seeking more time to interview witnesses for the high-profile school shooting case.

McInerney, 16, who is being tried as an adult, is charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the Feb. 12, 2008, shooting death of 15 year-old Lawrence King.

“We can’t respond. We are not prepared,” McInerney’s lawyer, Robyn Bramson, said. “We have no case to put on.”

“We have no defense,” added McInerney’s other lawyer, Scott Wippert.

Brandon McInerney, charged with first-degree murder.

King, who dressed in a feminine style and told friends he was gay, was allegedly shot the back of the head by McInerney in a computer lab at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, CA.

The two boys had been sparring in the days before the killing, allegedly because King had expressed a romantic interest in McInerney, who was 14 at the time.

McInerney faces a maximum prison sentence of 50 years to life if he’s convicted of first-degree murder.

Prosecutors have offered to agree to a sentence of 25 years to life if McInerney pleads guilty to first-degree murder and a hate-crime allegation.

Prosecutors said they will be ready with testimony and evidence. Jury selection is expected soon, with opening statements later this month.

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