Judge to rule on boy who killed neo-Nazi father
A Riverside County judge on Monday is scheduled to rule whether a 12-year-old boy is criminally responsible for shooting and killing his father, neo-Nazi activist Jeffrey Hall, as he slept on the family’s living room couch.
The youngster, just 10 years old when he pulled the trigger in May 2011, was charged as a juvenile and can be held in custody only until he is 23 if the judge finds him criminally responsible.
If he is not found criminally responsible, he most likely will be placed into the custody of the county social services agency and a separate family court hearing will help to determine if the boy should be placed with a family member or into foster care.
Much of the testimony in the case revolved around the boy's unusual upbringing -- in a family steeped in the hatred and violence of the neo-Nazi movement.
Chief Deputy Dist. Atty. Michael Soccio argued that the boy plotted to kill his father because of fears that the father was about to divorce the boy's stepmother and break up the family. Soccio presented evidence that the boy expressed remorse hours after the shooting.
Public Defender Matthew Hardy focused on the boy's abusive home life, where gunplay and neo-Nazi gatherings were commonplace. Witnesses testified that Hall beat his son repeatedly, often in drunken or drug-addled rages.
The Times is not identifying the boy because of his age.
-- Phil Willon in Riverside