The boy accused of killing a
15-year-old gay student in California has been offered a plea deal
that would lessen his sentence, the Ventura County Star
District Attorney Greg Totten said he
will allow Brandon McInerney, 15, to plead guilty to first-degree
murder in exchange for a lighter sentence.
“It would bring it down, from a
maximum of 53 years to life, to 25 years to life,” Senior Deputy
District Attorney Maeve Fox, the lead prosecutor in the case, told
McInerney is being tried as an adult in
the death of Lawrence King, a gay student murdered last February in
Oxnard, California. McInerney was 14 last year when he shot King
twice in the head during a morning English class. King survived the
night, but died on Valentine's Day after being pronounced brain dead.
Police arrested McInerney a few blocks from school.
King told friends and family that he
was gay, often wore makeup and is reported to have teased boys.
McInerney has also been charge with
committing a hate crime.
In May, King's family was cleared to
sue the foster home where the boy was living for wrongful death. The
family says counselors at Casa Pacifica are responsible for the
eight-grader's death because they encouraged him to express his
In a brief submitted to the court
earlier this year, prosecutors alleged investigators had found a
training video in McInerney's possession titled Shooting in
Realistic Environments and various neo-Nazi books.
Citing McInerney's troubled home and
young age, defense lawyers have asked the court for leniency.