Teen accused of homophobic murder ruled fit to stand trial

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Lawyers representing a 14-year-old California boy accused of the murder of an openly gay classmate have failed in an attempt to have him declared developmentally incapable of standing trial.

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kevin McGee made his decision after Brandon McInernery after hearing the conclusions of a court-appointed psychologist and psychiatrist.

He has been charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime.

He is being prosecuted as an adult and could be sentenced to 50 years in jail if convicted.

Lawrence King, 15, who self-identified as gay and wore feminine clothing, was shot in the head on 12th February during a lesson, allegedly by McInerney, his classmate at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, California.

Mr King’s family have partially blamed their son’s death on the school district for not enforcing the school dress code.

The family filed a claim against the school at the beginning of the August at Ventura County Superior Court.

In September the court heard that Mr McInerney, who pleads not guilty, had “literature and drawings depicting a “racist skinhead philosophy” in his bedroom, according to prosecutors.

Mr McInerney’s lawyer called the revelation a “stunt” and said his client was writing a school report on Hitler and he and family members had a shared interest in German military.

In October Judge McGee allowed Mr McInerney to sack his attorneys provided by the Public Defender’s Office and appoint new counsel, once he had ensured that the teenager had not been coerced into making the decision to switch representatives.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans activists had urged that the boy be dealt with by a juvenile court.