LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Prosecutors say Brandon McInerney is a white supremacist who was lying in wait to kill 15-year-old Larry King because he was openly gay. But a friend of McInerney, who is black, testified Thursday that’s not the case at all.
The 17-year-old boy, identified as Keith L., took the stand Thursday in a Chatsworth courtroom and described himself as a good friend to McInerney. Keith remembers McInerney saying he planned to bring a gun to school the day before he shot and killed an openly gay student at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard.
“He just told me he was going to bring the gun,” Keith L. testified. “My reaction was, ‘You’re not going to bring the gun. I don’t believe that.’ I just looked at him in shock, like, you’re not going to do it.”
Keith L. he had this conversation with McInerney after Larry King shouted “baby” at him in a crowded hallway at school.
A girl, identified as Stormy S., also testified that King had been mean to her.
“He said that I was black because I was dirty,” Stormy S. said.
McInerney was sitting behind King in computer class on Feb. 12, 2008 when he pulled a .22-caliber handgun and shot him twice in the head.
Now 17, McInerney was charged as an adult with murder and a hate crime and faces life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors contend he was a white supremacist who shot King, partly because he was gay.
McInerney’s defense attorneys say he snapped after King repeatedly propositioned him and should face voluntary manslaughter rather than murder.
Keith said his friend never showed any sign of racism. He and others testifying Thursday also said that King repeatedly made flirtatious or taunting comments to McInerney.
King had taken to wearing makeup and effeminate clothing and often was insulted, tripped or avoided by other boys, students testified.