News (USA)

Defense rests in murder trial of gay teen; accused refuses to testify

Defense rests in murder trial of gay teen; accused refuses to testify

Defense attorneys on Monday rested their case in the murder trial of 17-year-old Brandon McInerney, accused in the 2008 execution-style slaying of Lawrence King, a gay classmate.

Brandon McInerney (left), and Lawrence King

McInerney, who is being tried as an adult, declined the opportunity to testify in his own defense.

Defense attorney Scott Wippert told the court that McInerney, now 17, made the choice not to testify.

At the time of the 2008 shooting, King had started dressing in women’s clothes, wearing makeup and making what McInerney construed as taunting sexual remarks.

The defense contends that McInerney entered into a “dissociative state” and was driven to a sudden irrational act by a violent upbringing and by what he felt as sexual harassment by King.

McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the killing, shot King in back of the head in a computer lab at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, Calif., on Feb. 12, 2008.

His attorneys argued that McInerney was provoked into attacking him because King made unwanted sexual advances toward him.

Prosecutors said McInerney was fascinated with Nazis and other racist groups that are intolerant of gays and lesbians.

Closing arguments in the case are expected to begin later this week.

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