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Judge declares mistrial in Brandon McInerney murder case

Brandon McInerney, left, was accused of shooting and killing 15-year-old Lawrence King, right, in February 2008.

September 1, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell has declared a mistrial in the Brandon McInerney murder case.

The jury was unable to reach consensus despite Campbell ordering the panel to reconvene.

McInerney was being tried for murder with a hate-crime enhancement in the shooting death of classmate Lawrence King in 2008.

McInerney, then 14, shot King twice in the back of the head in a classroom at E.O. Green Junior High School.

The prosecution alleged McInerney had planned to shoot King over unwanted sexual advances, and said that McInerney had white-supremacist leanings.

The defense contended McInerney had a violent upbringing in a rough household and that he snapped when King, who was gay, made repeated comments to McInerney.

McInerney, now 17, was tried as an adult.

The nine-woman, three-man jury panel said the last vote resulted in seven in favor of voluntary manslaughter and five for first- or second-degree murder.

The trial was moved to Los Angeles County due to media coverage.

The jury began deliberations last Friday.