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Suspect in gay student's slaying had been molested, brother says

August 3, 2011 |  7:34 pm

Gay shooting
Brandon McInerney was molested by a relative as a boy, a family secret that his older half brother didn't learn until two weeks after McInerney shot a gay classmate to death in February 2008, the half brother told jurors in a Chatsworth courtroom Wednesday.

James Bing testified that McInerney’s father cried hysterically as he revealed the molestation that occurred when Brandon was about 9 years old.

The older McInerney was upset because the family had dealt with the problem internally, sending the relative away for years, instead of reporting it to police and getting Brandon help, Bing told the courtroom.

McInerney’s father, who is now dead, believed the memory of the molestation was what caused his son to react so violently when Larry King began dressing like a girl and flirting with McInerney at their Oxnard junior high school, Bing said.

"He felt that it scarred him," said Bing, 24. "He felt guilty that he hadn’t done anything about it before."

Bing's testimony came during Brandon McInerney's trial on first-degree murder and a hate-crime charges in the shooting death of King, who was 15 when he was killed.

The prosecution contends that McInerney, then 14, shot King because he disliked homosexuals and was bothered by King's attention to him.

The defense has called witnesses who testified about the school's failure to adequately deal with growing tensions between McInerney and King at school.

Defense attorneys Scott Wippert and Robym Bramson also are calling friends and family members to testify to the violent and abusive home in which Brandon McInerney grew up.

When McInerney’s father died in 2009, coroner's officials found alcohol and drugs in his system. Bing said his stepfather was frequently high on drugs and was sadistic.

He once put soap into a sock and beat the boys with it for an offense that later turned out to have been committed by someone else, Bing testified.

Billy McInerney poured Tabasco sauce down's the boys' throats when they were sleeping and would pull down their pants in front of their friends, disparaging the size of their genitals, Bing said.

"He was a mean, nasty person,'' Bing said.

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-- Catherine Saillant

Photo: Brandon McInerney, left, was 14 when he shot gay classmate Larry King, right.

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