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Teacher, classmate testify in Oxnard classroom shooting trial

July 28, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
A teacher and a classmate testified Thursday how a gay student who was shot and killed in an Oxnard classroom was behaving at school.

Brandon McInerney, 17, is on trial for the murder of his gay classmate, Lawrence King. McInerney is being tried as an adult. He was 14 when the shooting happened.

Thursday's testimony continued exploring how King, 15, had been acting increasingly feminine upon returning from winter break in 2009, and how E.O. Green Junior High School classmates reacted.

McInerney's attorney showed jurors a dress that an English teacher gave to King. The teacher, Dawn Boldrin, gave King her daughter's 10th-grade homecoming dress. It was given to King the Friday before he was shot.

The jury was shown a picture of King holding up the dress.

Boldrin testified that she and other teachers went to school administrators to voice their concern about King's more effeminate behavior. Fellow students were reportedly not handling the new behavior well.

"They were having difficulty dealing with the homophobia of the situation," said Boldrin. "They were 7th-grade boys. It was obvious. I didn't see it. She [the school principal] was very concerned about that because I had a very strict classroom, so due to discipline, they couldn't act out, they couldn't really voice it."

A 17-year-old female former classmate who openly admitted she was a lesbian in the 8th grade said that when she was dressing more like a boy, her fellow classmates were treating her like one of the boys, but she said when it came to King, it was different. She pointed out that he was being picked on in school.

The defense team said it would likely take another two weeks or so to complete their case.

McInerney is charged with killing 15-year-old Lawrence King at E.O. Green Junior High School in Feb. 2008. McInerney, who was 14 years old at the time of the shooting, shot King in the back of the head during their computer class.

McInerney's defense lawyers contend he did it, but not because King was gay. Both officers were shown security video of McInerney involved in three different fights at the juvenile hall. One of the officers says fights happen all the time.

If convicted of a murder charge with a hate crime enhancement, McInerney faces 53 years to life in prison.

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