Mental health evaluation ordered for 10-year-old charged with killing neo-Nazi father
This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
A Riverside County juvenile court judge on Wednesday ordered a mental health evaluation of a 10-year-old boy charged in the shooting death of his father, a local neo-Nazi activist.
The examination was requested by the boy's attorney, public defender Matthew Hardy, to help determine whether the boy will enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
The 10-year-old has been charged as a juvenile and faces a murder charge for shooting his father, Jeffrey R. Hall, a regional director for the National Socialist Movement.
Hall was shot while on the living room couch at his Riverside home about 4 a.m. May 1 in what detectives say was an "intentional act."
Deputy Dist. Atty. Ambrosio E. Rodriquez said there is nothing to indicate that Hall's neo-Nazi activities led directly to the shooting, but added that there is little doubt the boy was influenced by those activities.
Hall, 32, often held National Socialist Movement meetings at this house and took his children to neo-Nazi rallies and meetings.
"It’s the worst of the worst, and I don’t see how that doesn't become an issue in a case when we're talking about a 10-year-old boy and what happened in the house," he continued. "The defense will make it an issue."
The stepmother of the 10-year-old was charged Tuesday with child endangerment and failure to properly store a firearm. Krista F. McCary and her husband recklessly stored the loaded .357-magnum handgun on a shelf in the house where their five children had easy access to the weapon, Rodriquez said.
The firearm did not have a trigger lock and was not in a lock box as required by law.
McCary, 26, has been charged with five counts of child endangerment and four counts of criminal storage of a firearm.
If convicted, she could be sentenced to a maximum eight years in prison, but because she has no criminal history, she would likely receive probation, the prosecutor said.
Two of Hall's six children were from a previous marriage, including his 10-year-old son.
According to court records, the boy had a history of aggression and violence after his parents went through a bitter divorce, with both Hall and his ex-wife, Leticia Neal, of Spokane, Wash., accusing each other of abusing and neglecting the children.
Hall was granted full custody of the children.
Last year, Neal filed for custody of the 10-year-old boy and his 9-year-old sister, saying she was concerned about the children's well-being because of their father's affiliation with the neo-Nazi group.
Hall opposed the motion, saying Neal had had no contact with the children for six years.
Officials with the county’s child protective services agency took custody of Hall's four other children after the shooting, and they have been placed with a relative.
The 10-year-old boy's next hearing is scheduled for July 22.
For the record, 1:58 p.m., May 18: An earlier version of this post referred to prosecutor Ambrosio E. Rodriquez as an assistant district attorney. Rodriguez is a deputy district attorney.
-- Phil Willon in Riverside
Photo: Jeffrey R. Hall in 2010. Credit: Sandy Huffaker / Associated Press