Image: Students at a makeshift memorial at E.O. Green middle school
Phil McCarten  /  AP, file
Students gather around a makeshift memorial at E.O. Green middle school, honoring slain school student Lawrence King, 15, who was killed by a classmate because he was gay.
msnbc.com news services
updated 8/5/2011 5:31:52 AM ET 2011-08-05T09:31:52

A teacher testified Thursday that a gay student at a Southern California junior high school paraded around in makeup and high heels in front of a classmate who is accused of killing him the next day.

Arthur Saenz said he saw defendant Brandon McInerney sitting on a bench looking angry and upset while 15-year-old Larry King walked back and forth in front of him as other students laughed.

"I saw a lot of anger and rage," the history teacher said about McInerney.

He said he did nothing about the situation because the school administrator walked up and saw the same scene. He said he assumed she would take care of it.

Saenz said that in hindsight, he thought the encounter "appeared to be sexual harassment."

Tried as an adult
McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the 2008 shooting at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, is being tried as an adult on first-degree murder and hate crime charges.

The defense is arguing that McInerney had a troubled childhood and had reached an emotional breaking point over unwanted sexual advances by King when he shot his fellow student in a computer classroom. The prosecution contends McInerney was driven by white supremacist anti-gay beliefs.

Saenz's testimony came after McInerney's aunt testified that she saw the young man's father physically and verbally abuse him.

Allegations of abuse
Megan Csorba said she saw her brother sit on his son until he couldn't breathe, pull his thumb back until he screamed and punch him in the face, the Ventura County Star reported.

In cross-examination, a prosecutor asked Csorba why she didn't report the abuse to police.

"I was going through my own abuse, and I wasn't going to do that to my brother," Csorba said.

She said that books on Nazi youth and videos on shooting at McInerney's home belonged to the defendant's older brother. She also testified, as did McInerney's half-brother, that the defendant had been molested by a cousin.

Brandon McInerney looked angry in court as his aunt described his childhood, the Ventura County Star said. His mother, Kendra, wept, the newspaper reported.

When McInerney's father died in 2009, coroner's officials found alcohol and drugs in his system, the Los Angeles Times reported. James Bing, McInerney's half-brother, has testified that McInerney's father was often high on drugs and was sadistic, the newspaper reported.

The cousin was scheduled to testify Friday. The trial was moved to Los Angeles County because of extensive media coverage in Ventura County.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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