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Oxnard teen murder trial: Psychologist testifies

August 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
The murder trial for a teen killing his classmate continued on Friday. Brandon McInerney is being tried as an adult in the death of his gay classmate Larry King.

Friday, the focus was on a possible motive for the killing. The prosecution has wrapped up its case in the month-long trial. The trial is now in the hands of the defense.

Dr. Donald Hoagland was a psychologist who evaluated McInerney. He was a defense witness who spent most of the day testifying, taking the jury into the mind of McInerney days before the shooting.

Hoagland says McInerney told him that repeated sexual advances directed at him by King, who wore makeup and women's clothing, eventually pushed him over the edge.

Three years ago McInerney shot King to death in an eighth grade classroom in Oxnard. Hoagland says McInerney told him about several disturbing encounters he had with King leading up to the deadly shooting.

"After eating lunch Brandon would play basketball with his friends, and Larry walked onto the basketball court and interrupted the game and asked Brandon to be his valentine," said Hoagland.

Hoagland said McInerney was outraged by the comment as well as other encounters. He says McInerney told him about an incident as he was walking to a P.E. class.

" Brandon saw Larry coming, so he kind of walked to the far side of the passage area, and Larry then swerved over to him and said something to the effect of 'what's up baby' and there were other students around who heard it," said Hoagland. "Brandon told me that was the final straw that popped the balloon."

McInerney is charged with murder and a hate crime in the killing of King. Prosecutors believe McInerney shot King to death because he was gay.

Defense lawyers argue an abusive childhood coupled with unwanted advances by King caused McInerney in a fit of rage to pull the trigger murdering King.

The jury will have to decide whether it was murder or manslaughter. The prosecution wants McInerney convicted of murder, and the defense manslaughter.

The trial is scheduled to wrap late next week.


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