(Editor's note: In an update to this story, prosecutors decided later Wednesday to retry Brandon McInerney as an adult but will drop the hate crime allegation. A pretrial hearing is set for Nov. 21.)
A national gay rights group says that Ventura County prosecutors should do the “just and merciful thing” and reach a plea deal with Brandon McInerney for fatally shooting a gay middle-school student rather than trying him a second time.
A court hearing is scheduled Wednesday morning, when it is expected prosecutors will announce whether they will try McInerney again for shooting Larry King, and if so, whether as an adult or a minor.
Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, urged prosecutors and defense attorneys to reach a compromise.
A Ventura County judge last month declared a mistrial after a nine-woman, three-man jury was unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial, which captured broad attention.
Trying McInerney a second time would “only dig into old wounds that have never been given a chance to heal," Byard said in a written statement.
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