KABC got an interview with McInerney's older brother, James Bing, outside the courtroom on Tuesday where Brandon McInerney is on trial for the first degree murder of then-15 year old Larry King. Bing was kicked out of the courtroom by the judge after it was learned that he had spoken to jurors prior to the trial. Here he tells the Eyewitness News reporter that his brother - who was then 14 - was "an "A" student who made a terrible mistake."
"My brother isn't the monster that the district attorney's making him out to be. She calls him all these bad names, that he's such an evil kid, but he's really not. This is the first time he's ever been in trouble in his life in any way. He never had a detention," said Bing.
"Two kids are basically losing their lives. I'm sorry for Larry King's family as well. I feel so sorry for them, but at the same time I want to have my brother back," said Bing.
The case Ventura County Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox is presenting, however, indicates that Brandon was a budding white supremacist - not an innocent who just made a mistake.
She said McInerney had easy access to guns in his house, such as the .22 that he used in the crime. When she described how McInerney sat behind King and fired two shots, she clapped her hands.
Fox said McInerney was a budding white supremacist who had Nazi and "white power" drawings in his notebook, along with a copy of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" in his book bag.
She focused on one drawing of an eyeball of a "lone wolf," one of the theories of white supremacy that says a believer can act on his own to help protect the white race from all evils, including homosexuality.
McInerney's lead attorney, Scott Wippert, told the jury the evidence would show that what happened should not have happened, "it was an unnecessary tragedy because a 14-year-old boy was emotionally pushed over the edge."
"A 14-year-old boy who was being sexually harassed by Larry King," he said.
Wippert said King was a known problem at school for harassing other boys sexually and making inappropriate remarks. He had been warned about making sexual advances as early as the fifth grade and part of his goals a counselor had set for him recently included not making sexual advances on people, he said.
Wayne Besen of Truth Wins Out is among those who think Wippert is using a "gay panic" defense, even as he says in court that this isn't about whether Larry King was gay:
Gay panic. The suggestion that if a person feels uncomfortable because a gay person flirts with him, that murder is somehow on the spectrum of Reasonable Responses. I do remember from the days immediately after King's murder that he did seem to have a crush of some sort on Brandon McInerney. That happens, especially in the formative years of high school.
My feeling on this case has always been that it was tragic all around - that a kid like Larry could be murdered in cold blood at school just for being who he is, and that a kid like Brandon could have been raised/neglected in such a way that he would feel justified in taking Larry's life. But the suggestion from the defense that a little 15 year-old gay boy who liked to wear make-up was the aggressor in a situation which resulted in his own murder is beyond disgusting.