After numerous delays, Brandon
McInerney, the teen accused of killing a 15-year-old gay student,
formally heard the criminal charges against him Thursday morning.
During his arraignment, McInerney pleaded not guilty to all charges,
the Ventura County Star reported.
McInerney, 15, 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
allegedly shot King twice in the head during a morning class at E.O.
Green Junior High in Oxnard. King survived the night but died on
Valentine's Day after being pronounced brain dead. Police arrested
McInerney a few blocks from the school.
King told friends and family that he
was gay, often wore makeup, and is reported to have teased boys.
McInerney has been charged with murder
and committing a hate crime.
Attorneys representing McInerney
objected to a lying-in-wait charge that has been added to the
criminal complaint. The complaint was amended after a three-day
preliminary hearing in July. Defense lawyers challenged the charge
Thursday – calling it “vindictive prosecution” – and were
granted a September 1 hearing.
Prosecutors have denied the allegations
of vindictiveness, saying the lying-in-wait charge is justified
because McInerney waited 15 to 20 minutes in a computer lab class
before shooting King.
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.