A Ventura County California Superior Court Judge has ruled that Brandon McInerney acted with premeditation in the shooting death of his openly gay classmate, Lawrence King and that McInerney should stand trail as an adult for the crime.
McInerney, 15, is charged with murder and a hate crime in the shooting death of King on Feb. 12, 2008 at EO Green Middle School in Oxnard, California. King, who dressed in a feminine style and told friends he was gay, was allegedly shot the back of the head by McInerney in a computer lab at the school after reportedly expressing a romantic interest in McInerney.
Judge Ken Riley described the shooting as an act of “the cold-blooded precision of an executioner,” ruled the crime was premeditated, and noted that McInerney didn’t confront King in the hallway or on the playground, but waited for class to begin before shooting him. Judge Riley found true the special circumstance that McInerney was lying in wait and also said that because of the “executory nature” of the crime, McInerney should be held to answer the charges as an adult.
Judge Riley’s ruling came after a three-day preliminary hearing that began on Monday in which witnesses testified that McInerney reportedly bragged about having guns at home if he wanted kill someone, as well as having a fascination with neo-Nazis and that McInerney was annoyed by the alleged romantic attentions and flirting from King.
Ventura County Prosecutors have not yet determined whether they will file the special circumstance against McInerney.
If McInerney is found guilty of all the charges, he could possibly face as much as 53 years to life in prison.