September 20, 2011 By Wallin & Klarich

The presiding judge over a criminal trial involving a California teen accused of murdering a gay classmate at a Ventura County junior high school declared a mistrial.

The 12-member jury panel told Judge Charles Campbell that they were unable to reach a unanimous decision as to the degree of Brandon McInerney’s guilt for the killing of 15-year old Larry King. The jury, comprised of nine women and three men, said they took a series of votes but could not decide on whether to convict on voluntary manslaughter or first-degree or second-degree murder. The jury had been deliberating for about week.

It is undisputed that three years ago, McInerney took a .22 caliber handgun to a computer lab class in school and shot King twice in the back of the head. The act was committed in front of other classmates.

The prosecution argued that McInerney, then 14, adopted white supremacist tenants and viewed homosexuality as an abomination. The prosecution also argued that the act was premeditated in that six people heard McInerney threatened King days before the shooting.

The murder defense attorneys, however, denied McInerney’s white supremacy affiliations and explained that King wore high heels, makeup, and feminine clothing that made other students uncomfortable. McInerney reached an emotional breaking point after King made repeated unwanted sexual advances. The defense also argued that McInerney was the victim of physical abuse at home from his father, who has since died, and did not receive proper guidance and emotional support.

The differences between a manslaughter conviction and a murder conviction are great. It can mean the difference between being labeled a person who acted under severe emotional or mental duress or a cold-blooded murderer. If you face homicide charges, you will need a skilled criminal defense attorney who can help you achieve the best possible result.

The criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have been in practice for over 30 years and can ensure that your rights are not violated. Call us today at 888-749-0034 or visit us online at We will be there when you call.

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