Hate Crime Murder Trial Pulls S.B. Jurors

The Ventura County court system will draw on Santa Barbara jurors to decide the fate of a 16-year-old Oxnard student accused of shooting a classmate, Larry King, on school grounds solely because he was gay. The accused, Brandon McKierney, was 14 years old at the time of the incident. He’s being charged with first degree murder and a hate crime enhancement. If found guilty, McKierney is facing a sentence of 53 years to life. Ventura County prosecutors agreed with defense claims that Ventura had been so bombarded with news coverage of the crime that the defendant’s right to a fair trial could be compromised. Rather than holding the trial elsewhere, however, prosecutors have opted to bring in jurors from Santa Barbara.

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