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California Briefing / VENTURA COUNTY

Teen had white supremacist items

October 03, 2008|Catherine Saillant

Investigators seized white supremacist materials, including doodlings of Nazi swastikas, from the bedroom of Brandon McInerney, the 14-year-old Oxnard student accused of gunning down a gay classmate.

The items were found after McInerney's arrest Feb. 12 on suspicion of killing Lawrence "Larry" King, 15, a classmate at E.O. Green Junior High School, Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox wrote in a court filing this week.

The "trove" of white supremacist literature and drawings depict a "racist skinhead philosophy of the variety espoused by Tom Metzger, David Lane and others," Fox wrote.

McInerney is being tried as an adult on a murder count, plus a hate crime allegation. Prosecutors previously declined to specify their justification for the hate crime enhancement.

But in the court documents, Fox said the materials found in the teenager's bedroom were a primary consideration in adding the hate crime charge. McInerney's attorney, Deputy Public Defender William Quest, called the prosecution's disclosure a "stunt" intended to inflame public sentiment against his client.

He said McInerney had the items because he was writing a school paper on Adolf Hitler. He also shared an interest in the German military with other family members, Quest said.

"There is no evidence Brandon was ever in a gang, no evidence he had any gang tattoos," Quest said. "His best friends at school were black and Hispanic. . . . This is a stretch by the prosecution."

A preliminary hearing in the case has been delayed by a possible change in McInerney's defense team.

-- Catherine Saillant

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