Today in Ventura County, a judge handed down a 21-year sentence to Brandon McInerney, who plead guilty to second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter in the death of classmate Larry King.
Reports the L.A. Times:
McInerney, who was 14 when he pulled a gun out of his backpack and shot King two times at point-blank range, will be kept behind bars until he is 39 under the terms of the deal struck by Ventura County prosecutors.
In an unusual arrangement, the 17-year-old pleaded guilty to the charges after the judge declared a mistrial in his first trial. In return, prosecutors agreed not to go forward with a second trial, which could have resulted in a life sentence.
King’s life came to a tragic end in 2008, when McInerney walked into a computer lab at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, CA, and shot him twice—allegedly after King had flirted with him and other males students.
While McInerney’s sentence is more than twice his current lifespan, he’ll still be under 40 when he emerges as a free man. Time enough to live a full life.
But should a 14-year-old receive an adult punishment, even if for a crime so heinous?
McInerney was silent during his sentencing, but his attorney, Scott Wippert, said the 17-year-old remorseful for his actions. “He feels deeply remorseful and stated repeatedly if he could go back and take back what he did he would do it in a heartbeat, Wippert said.
But King’s family isn’t forgiving or forgetting, as CBS News reports:
“You took upon yourself to be a bully and to hate a smaller kid, wanting to be the big man on campus,”‘ King’s father, Greg King, said on behalf of his wife. “`You have left a big hole in my heart where Larry was and it can never be filled.”‘
Do you think justice was served in this case? Weigh in (respectfully) in the comments.