Detective Defends Testimony in Murder Trial
LOS ANGELES – A police detective stood firm during defense cross-examination in the trial of a California teenager charged in the shooting death of his gay classmate, saying he believed that the defendant was influenced by a local street gang and white supremacy beliefs.
Simi Valley Detective Dan Swanson said Wednesday that he stands by his testimony for the prosecution in the trial of Brandon McInerney, 17, who is charged with first-degree murder and hate crime in the killing of 15-year-old Larry King, Ventura County Star reported. He was expected to resume his testimony Thursday.
Prosecutors allege McInerney was driven by white supremacist, anti-gay beliefs when he shot King in the head in an Oxnard junior high classroom in 2008.
Defense attorney Scott Wippert questioned why Swanson thinks McInerney was a member of a street gang when the young man wasn’t charged with a gang crime.
Swanson said he evaluated every influence in McInerney’s life and found that the Silver Strand Locals, which the detective considered to be a gang, and white supremacists were his primary influences.
“Since both of those groups have a history of committing acts of violence, that is the influence I testified that I believe spoke to Brandon,” Swanson said.
McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting, is being tried as an adult.