District Attorney on King Case Dismisses Quest’s “Blame the Victim” Defense

Timothy Kincaid

May 9th, 2008

Lawrence King Karen Ocamb, writing for the Advocate, interviewed Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox about the murder of Lawrence King, a 15 boy shot by a classmate because he was gay. Although William Quest, the defense attorney for King’s killer, Brandon McInerney, has been telling the press that the blame should lie with King or with the school district, Fox isn’t buying it.

Fox declined to say if she thought Quest would mount a “gay panic defense” – saying that McInerney murdered King because the gay boy came on to him. However, Fox scoffed at any “blame the victim” defense as an “absolute failure to acknowledge personal responsibility.” Any “heat of passion” defense,” Fox said, requires an immediate, unforeseen reaction to an objectively overwhelming provocation and the absence of malice of forethought – the exact opposite of premeditation, which is what McInerney is charged with.

Fox further explained her thinking and why the DA wants to charge McInerney as an adult with premeditated murder with a special allegation of a hate crime.

“When you kill someone, to me you need to be incarcerated away from the public for a long time. Because to me, you’ve demonstrated that you’re dangerous. That’s why we have such lengthy sentences for murderers because you don’t want to just say, ‘Now don’t ever do that again!’ They’re dangerous people in most cases – unless it’s some extreme case where the person was under duress – in those cases we generally work out some kind of plea or arrangement. What I’m thinking of is battered women, people who kill under extreme circumstances.

“But if it’s a situation where it’s unprovoked and premeditated,” Fox continued, “then I would say in pretty much all of those cases, that public safety is a tremendous concern for me. And punishment is very high on my list of priorities. I’m very big on personal responsibility. And unless you can show me that you had a really, really, really good reason for doing what you did, I think you should stand up and be accountable for it. And you should be punished because otherwise we would live in pure chaos. These are the rules we’ve set up for each other and to me, it’s a very important part of this job.”


May 9th, 2008

I wonder if they’ll pull out the old Twinkie Defense.

Didn’t Jeebus’ message include something about personal responsibility? It’s been a while since I paid any attention to that sort of thing, but still…


May 9th, 2008

“.” Any “heat of passion” defense,” Fox said, requires an immediate, unforeseen reaction to an objectively overwhelming provocation and the absence of malice of forethought – the exact opposite of premeditation, which is what McInerney is charged with.”

I just believe that this kid thought he was doing the right thing.

Its like the people that gay bash, they think their doing the right thing. This kid took it a step deeper but… the ‘put in his place’ reaction is not uniquely his. Rather, its socially developed.
I would hate to see this kid go to jail forever because of it. I can’t help to think that his parents/ppl close to him where what primarily influenced him to kill larry. I know of parents that DO encourage their child to beat them up if the opportunity is present, or at least, do not oppose such action(which is agreeing but a different way to show it).

If i was the kid that shot larry, and my family encouraged me to ‘teach him a lesson’. If i chose to kill him i would probably regret it when i was older and wiser, and could think for myself.

adam kautz

May 10th, 2008

Joel what he did was pre-meditated, that means thought out and planned, he needs to be locked away for the sake of the community, I’m sorry he’ll probably spend the next 80 years in prison but if he goes to juvie in six years he’ll get out and he will kill again, after all it gets easy after the first. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, in this case one, Brandon McInerey.


May 10th, 2008

They are indeed pulling the Gay Panic Defense, and it’s despicable.


“By allowing King to come to school wearing feminine makeup and accessories, school officials were so intent on nurturing King as he explored his sexuality that they downplayed the turmoil his behavior was causing on campus, Quest said.

Quest claimed McInerney shot King in the back of the head with a handgun as first-period classes were beginning because he was unable to see another way to solve his problem.”

Jason D

May 10th, 2008

so he killed him because he couldn’t think of any other options? Surely he knew that murder is illegal, and if not, that’s worse.

That’s a bizarre defense, so if I can’t think of any other way, if no other idea pops into my head, it’s okay to murder someone?

There’s a difference between not having any other options and not choosing any other options. King shouldn’t die because some lunatic doesn’t have critical thinking skills.

Regan DuCasse

May 10th, 2008

“…The turmoil his behavior was causing on campus.” Quest said.

Bullying, assault, weapons on campus is the behavior that causes turmoil, NOT asserting one’s identity and wearing girl’s accessories if you’re gay.

I get way past sick of such disingenuousness and lack of perspective on what is acceptable and what is not.
And it looks like being a bully and tormenting other children is more acceptable than being gay, showing casual same sex affection or a good and popular gay student.
Heterosexuals in charge need to pay attention to reality instead of obssessing about the wrong things. When it results in child on child violence to the extent of murder, the urgency in which gay people appeal to legislation is far more legitimate than the desire to maintain the anti gay status quo.

And not incidentally, when such bullying behavior isn’t stopped among adolescents, it can transition into adult workplaces as well. And workplace shootings are an extension of that, DUH.


July 21st, 2008

Ok so let me get this straight…..He kills this poor kid because his gay and making moves on him or what ever the reason is. So he thinks out the whole thing, brings a gun to school and kills a human being. Takes his life GOD gave him!

Ok….So now his going to prison and is going to get gang raped for the rest of his life and buddy not by women…..by men!

Where is the logic in anything ppl do now a days?

I think if he can kill and has a mind and the ability to act out his desires (as bad as they were) he must be sent away for a long long long time.

And his parents need to be held responsible as well for bring such a low life into this world. All parents with kids that commit crimes should be held responsible, as they are not doing their job right as parents.

Day of Silence

October 24th, 2008

It has been a long time since I visited this blog. The first time I visited because my school was having a day of silence for Larry King. Since then I have not gotten this kid out of my head. I think of him constantly and how his short life ended. This poor kid will never grow up and do all the normal things that we take for granted. This may sound vindictive but why should the boy who shot him get to do all those things? Vindicitive though it may be, Im sure Larry’s parent’s agree. I can’t get him out of my head.


October 24th, 2008

D.O.S. – Same here. Even though I never met Larry, the world is a little more empty without him. Who know what he could have achieved later in life?! Doctor, Lawyer fighting for LGBT civil rights, actor, singer, musician, etc.

The case seems to be getting more disgusting because the killers new lawyers are trying to use the “not mentally competent to stand trial” defense.

Here’s the latest news about this case:
McInerney to undergo psychiatric tests

California – Vote “NO” on Prop. 8!
Arizona – Vote “NO” on Prop. 102! AGAIN!
Florida – Vote “NO” on Amendment 2!
Connecticut – Vote “NO” on Question 1!

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