Lawyers representing a Ventura County teenager accused of killing a classmate sought a mistrial Friday, after learning that the police officer who arrested the teen is on paid administrative leave, and unavailable to testify.
Brandon McInerney’s defense team said that prosecutors should have known the officer was unavailable to testify, and told the court, because he is facing criminal charges for an unrelated incident. Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell agreed prosecutors should have notified the court of the situation, but rejected the request, saying the situation didn’t justify a mistrial.
On Thursday, defense lawyers had sought to have Campbell removed from the case, because they feel he isn’t be impartial. Campbell rejected that motion.
McInerney is accused of the February, 2008 shooting death of classmate Larry King at E.O. Green Junior High School, in Oxnard. Prosecutors contend McInerney killed King because he has white supremacist beliefs, and was upset with King being gay. The defense admits McInerney killed King, but say it wasn’t because he was a supremacist, it was because he was being sexually harassed by King.