Brandon McInerney, the 17-year-old
student who pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of gay teen
Lawrence King, was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Monday, CBS
McInerney's lawyer said his client was
deeply remorseful for his actions.
“He feels deeply remorseful and
stated repeatedly if he could go back and take back what he did he
would do it in a heartbeat,” Scott Wippert said.
Two months after a judge in California
declared a mistrial when jurors could not decided whether McInerney,
then 14, deserved to be convicted of voluntary manslaughter or
first-degree murder, McInerney pleaded guilty to second-degree
murder, voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm as part of a plea
King, 15, was shot twice in the back of
the head during an E.O. Green Junior High School computer class on
the morning of February 12, 2008. He died in the hospital on
King told friends and family he was gay
and often wore makeup to school. Students testified that he either
had a crush on McInerney or delighted in teasing the boy, asking him,
“What's up baby?” the day before King's murder.
During the trial, defense lawyers
argued that McInerney suffered abuse at the hands of his drug-abuser
father, and didn't deserve to be tried as an adult.
Family members testified that the
McInerneys divorced in 2000 amid allegations of spousal abuse and
drug addiction, and that the father, who has subsequently committed
suicide, often humiliated his son in public.