The judge who presided over the trial of a Ventura County teenager accused of shooting to death a classmate has denied yet another defense effort to take himself off the case. The defense team for Brandon McInerney sought to have Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell removed from the case, claiming that he was biased, and that allowed prosecutors to bully witnesses.
McInerney is accused of the February, 2008 slaying of classmate Larry King at Oxnard’s E.O. Green Junior High School. Prosecutors tried the now 17-year-old McInerney for as an adult for first degree murder, with hate crime allegations over the summer, but the case ended in a mistrial. The hate crime allegation stemmed from prosecution assertions that McInerney killed King because the victim was gay.
Prosecutors say they’ll try McInerney again as an adult, but will drop the hate crime allegation. The defense team admitted McInerney killed King, but say he should be convicted of a lesser charge, like manslaughter, because King had been sexually harassing McInerney.