12-year-old boy on trial for killing neo-Nazi dad
A boy who was 10 years old when his white supremacist father was shot in the head and killed while he slept is standing trial for murder.
Opening statements are expected Tuesday in Superior Court in Riverside.
Jeff Hall was shot to death in his home last year. He was a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement who led rallies at a synagogue and day labor site.
Prosecutors want a judge to find the boy murdered Hall and keep him locked up as long as possible. They cite a history of violent behaviour.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Soccio says he does not believe Hall's white supremacist beliefs caused the boy to kill.
The Washington Post said prosecutors want a judge hearing opening statements Tuesday to rule after the proceedings that the boy, now 12, murdered Hall, an out-of-work plumber.
The boy told police he pulled a .357-Magnum from a closet and aimed it at Hall’s ear and pulled the trigger before running upstairs and hiding the weapon, according to court papers.
“He decided, as he put it, it was time to end the father-son thing,” said Michael Soccio. “This child started at five years old being expelled from school for violence. ... His violence started way before his dad ever joined any Nazi party.”
The New York Times said the day before he allegedly shot his father, the sandy-haired boy showed off a prized possession to a visitor. It was a thin leather belt emblazoned with a silver insignia of the Nazi SS.
“Look what my dad got me,” the boy said, perched on the living room stairs, one of the few quiet spots in a house with five children.
A little more than 12 hours later, the police say, the boy stood near those stairs with a handgun and killed his father, as he lay on the living room couch.
Hall had predicted that his political activities — in a world rife with hatred, suspicion and violence — would lead to his demise.
“I want a white society,” Mr. Hall said. “I believe in secession. I believe in giving my life for secession.”
Messages left for the boy's attorney, Matthew Hardy, were not immediately returned.
Hardy told the New York Times his client has neurological and psychological problems and was exposed to neo-Nazi “conditioning” at home.
“He’s been conditioned to violence,” Hardy told the newspaper. “You have to ask yourself: Did this kid really know that this act was wrong based on all those things?”
The Associated Press is not identifying the boy — who is not charged as an adult — because of his age.