Lawrence King (left) and Brandon McInerney

Prosecutors in the US say that they intend to apply to retry Brandon McInerney, who is accused of killing a gay classmate, following a mistrial last week.

McInerney, who was 14 at the time, is alleged to have shot Lawrence King (15) twice at the E.O. Green Junior High School in California in 2008.

After the murder, McInerney told a psychologist that he found the openly gay McInerney, who wore makeup and female clothing to school, “superdisgusting” and that “I sat and I thought about it over and over… all I could think about was I wanted to kill him”.

McInerney was charged as an adult and faced between a minimum 53 years imprisonment and a maximum life sentence.

Despite overwhelming evidence, the jury was on Friday unable to reach a verdict, in part because they did not agree with trying McInerney as an adult.

Prosecutors have vowed to retry the case but experts say that they face significant challenges and McInerney could ultimately walk away scot-free.

“It is disappointing that the criminal justice system has failed to bring closure to the family, friends and community that loved Lawrence,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign.

“It’s up to the adults around children to call out that early behaviour and prejudice, and to explain that the differences among us are part of what makes us strong: that being different is not something to attack, but to appreciate. If Lawrence or Brandon had lived in that world, their lives might not have collided in tragedy and death,” he said.

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