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Entries in Brandon McInerney (1)

Monday
Nov212011

California Teen Pleads Guilty to Second-Degree Murder

Hemera/Thinkstock(OXNARD, Calif.) -- A teen who shot and killed his eighth-grade classmate in 2008 has reached a deal with prosecutors, agreeing to plead guilty to second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter with use of a weapon in exchange for a 21-year prison term, which will be served in both youth facilities and prison.

Brandon McInerney, now 17, was 14 when he shot his classmate Larry King, 15, at their Oxnard, Calif., middle school. The plea deal comes ahead of what would have been McInerney's second murder trial. The second trial could have resulted in McInerney being convicted of first-degree murder and being sentenced to 50 years in prison.

The deal denied McInerney credit for time served, so he will end up having served a sentence of nearly 25 years. He turns 18 in January; when he is released, he will be 39. He was charged and tried as an adult.

The deal was reached despite McInerney's lawyers having argued that he was guilty of only voluntary manslaughter. They had argued also that because McInerney had just turned 14 when he shot King, he was, in the words of defense attorney Scott Weprin, "a kid who made a very bad mistake" and who should have been tried as a juvenile -- meaning he would have been free when he was age 25.

Wippert told ABC News that after McInerney's trial there was no "mechanism" to switch the case to juvenile court, a law he said needed to change.

There will still be a formal sentencing of McInerney, which will take place Dec. 19. Victim impact statements will be given at that time.

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