Three years ago 14-year-old Brandon McInerney walked into his middle school computer classroom, sat behind Lawrence King and shot the openly gay student twice in the head with a .22-caliber handgun as 24 classmates watched on. Now, the 17-year-old McInerney will go to trial. His defense? He just couldn’t deal with King’s eye makeup and women’s accessories.
Prosecutors call the murder a hate crime worthy of 53 years in prison. McInerney’s defense team calls the murder voluntary manslaughter saying that the abused young man could not rationally deal with the “gay panic” he experienced from King’s repeated come ons. If convicted for murder, McInerney will rot in prison until he’s 70. If for voluntary manslaughter, he’ll be eligible for parole before he’s 40.
Luckily, courts have begun rejecting the “gay panic” defense.