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Jurors in gay murder trial have short day

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

August 29, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Jurors in the trial of a teenager accused of fatally shooting another student at an Oxnard middle school had a short deliberation day on Monday.

Because a juror had a prior commitment, they met for only two hours. Jurors will resume a full day of deliberations on Tuesday.

They will be deciding the fate of 17-year-old Brandon McInerney, who is accused of murdering Larry King, a gay classmate, at E.O. Green Junior High School.

Prosecutors say McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting, targeted the 15-year-old King in a homophobic, white-supremacist rage.

The defense says King provoked the shooting with sexual advances toward McInerney.

McInerney has pleaded not guilty to one count each of murder and a hate crime. If convicted, he faces more than 50 years in prison. Jurors also can consider a conviction of voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum 21-year term.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.