Brandon McInerney, 14, is scheduled to
be arraigned this week in California. He is charged with the
first-degree murder of Lawrence King. Newsweek's cover story
about the gay teen's murder brings new details to light.
The newsweekly spent five months and
interviewed several dozen people to bring together the most detailed
account yet of Lawrence King's murder.
King was a 15-year-old boy attending
Oxnard, California's E.O. Green Junior High School. He told friends
and family he was gay, often wore makeup, once asked for a sex change
operation, and often hit on boys. On February 12th, after
asking McInerney to be his Valentine, he was shot twice in the head
during his 8th grade English class. He survived the
night, but died on Valentine's Day after being pronounced brain-dead.
While the Newsweek story does
not question any of the facts in the murder, it does raise important
questions. Such as, could King's murder have been prevented? Was
King even really gay or just acting out? And are schools prepared to
deal with such young children coming out?
According to Newsweek, King's
murder was very much premeditated.
One of King's girlfriends is quoted saying that McInerney had told
her to say goodbye to King, because she would never see him again.
At 8:30 a.m., during Mrs. Boldrin's English class, McInerney quietly
stood up and shot King in the head. “Brandon, what the hell are
you doing!” Boldrin screamed. McInerney fired a second shot at
King, tossed the gun and walked off the campus. Police arrested him a
few blocks from school.
King often used his supposed
homosexuality (he had never even been kissed) to taunt boys. He
would say in the hallways, “You look hot!” or “I know you want
A couple of days before Valentine's
Day, a group of King's girlfriends agreed to a game. They were each
to ask the boy they liked to be their Valentine. King choose
McInerney – whom it seems he genuinely liked. He interrupted
McInerney as he played basketball and asked him to be his Valentine
in front of his teammates, who naturally teased him about it.
McInerney, a latchkey kid, lived with
his father who divorced his wife in 2000. The McInerney's marriage
was troubled, marred with allegations of spousal violence and drug
The most troubling point of the
Newsweek story is the accusation some have leveled against
openly lesbian assistant principal Joy Epstein. King naturally
gravitated towards her and the two would spend a lot of time talking.
Some teachers claim she encouraged King's effeminate behavior and by
discussing her girlfriend, she brought the subject of sex into
school. McInerney's public defender William Quest called Epstein, “a
lesbian vice principal with a political agenda.”
Lawrence King died on Valentine's Day, his
heart donated to a 10-year-old girl. Brandon McInerney is facing the
possibility of a prison sentence of 51 years to life.
On the net: Newsweek's website is at