Brandon McInerney, 17, pleaded guilty to the murder charge Monday, as well as one count each of voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm, said Ventura County Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Frawley. McInerney is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 19.
The case drew wide attention because of its shocking premise: McInerney, in a fit of homophobic rage, killed 15-year-old Larry King at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard because he was offended by King’s dress and how the victim interacted with him.
Larry King’s father, Greg King, told KABC-TV he understands why prosecutors agreed to the plea deal.
“I don’t think that 21-year sentence is justice for my son, but I understand the reality that was facing the DA of trying to convict a defendant who was 14 … when he committed the murder,” Greg King said.
Comic Ellen DeGeneres, a lesbian, weighed in on her talk show shortly after the shooting and said gays shouldn’t be treated as second-class citizens.
McInerney was only 14 at the time of the February 2008 shooting. Several jurors said after the teen’s trial earlier this year that he should never have been tried as an adult.
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