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Teen's murder trial delayed by dad's death

March 18, 2009 2:06:48 PM PDT
The father of a teenager accused of killing a gay classmate in Oxnard has been found dead inside his home. He was found by a friend who was going to take him to a court hearing involving his son.The friend found the body of 45-year-old William McInerney in his home early Wednesday morning. The Ventura County Sheriff's Dept. says McInerney died of blunt force trauma to the head

"Essentially, he apparently got drunk and fell and hit his head," said Captain Ross Bonfiglio. "I do not know if there were other substances that he was also taking at the time."

McInerney was the father of 15-year-old Brandon McInerney, who is jailed and stands accused in the February 2008 shooting of gay classmate Lawrence King.

Wednesday, Brandon was scheduled to appear in court to face murder charges.

News of William's death spread quickly in the laid-back beach community of Silver Strand, where McInerney grew up. Neighbors say he was out and about all day yesterday

"He was just drunk, he was walking around in a drunken stupor," said neighbor Adam Gordon. "Obviously because of the case today."

"It bothers me, because I just saw him yesterday," said neighbor Laura Aguirre. "I'm still in shock."

Authorities say McInerney himself had just been released from jail eight days ago. He posted a $40,000 bail to get out, and friends say he was trying to sell his home to raise money to help pay for his son's legal fees

"He loved his kids," said longtime friend Marc Jorgenson. "I just feel sorry for his son right now, because he is going through a traumatic problem in jail right now."

Brandon McInerney's arraignment was postponed Wednesday, as soon as the court heard about the death of Brandon's father.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner is waiting on toxicology test results to determine if drugs and not just alcohol were in McInerney's system when he died.


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