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Prosecutors Drop Hate Crime Allegation In Retrial Of Ventura County Teen Accused Of Killing Classmate

Posted on Wednesday, October 5, 2011 2:55pm

Prosecutors say they are going to retry a Ventura County teenager accused of shooting a classmate to death as an adult, but that they aren’t going to pursue hate crime allegations.

Brandon McInerney is accused of the February, 2008 shooting death of Larry King at Oxnard’s E.O. Green Junior High School.

Ventura County prosecutors called it a hate crime, because King had told others he was gay, and they considered it to be the reason behind the killing.

Defense attorneys contended King had been sexually harassing McInerney.  They admitted McInerney killed King, but say he shouldn’t be facing a first degree murder charge, and that a lesser conviction is more appropriate.

A trial in Chatsworth over the summer ended in a mistrial.  Prosecutors aren’t saying why they are dropping the hate crime allegation.

There’s no word on whether talks are underway for some type of a plea deal.  Prosecutors had offered one in exchange for a guilty plea to first degree murder before the start of the first trial, but McInerney’s defense team declined, saying the potential sentence was too steep.

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