A California judge today found a 12-year-old boy guilty of second-degree murder for shooting his neo-Nazi dad at point-blank range with a .357 Magnum.
The unnamed child, who at age 10 killed his father, Jeff Hall, while dad slept on the couch in their Riverside, California, home, could be in juvenile prison into his early 20s.
Hall, 32, a white supremacist leader in the National Socialist Movement, may have been an undesirable character — but prosecutors argued that the dad’s neo-Nazi-ness had nothing to do with the child’s motives. They say the son did the deed to keep dad from leaving his stepmom.
The defense argued that the suspect grew up in a climate of physical and emotional abuse and didn’t know right from wrong.
In closing arguments, the lead prosecutor, Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Michael Soccio, called the defense’s story “fiction”:
Joseph was not raised in the home described by the defense here. It doesn’t exist. It’s fiction, a smoke screen, a red herring.
So Hall was a good dad … who just happened to be a neo-Nazi?
The son allegedly believed he could get away with murder because he watched an episode of Criminal Minds featuring an abused kid who killed his dad and received no punishment.
In a chilling twist, the New York Times was at the house interviewing Hall hours before he died. The Times said “Mr. Hall also bragged that he was teaching his son to use night vision equipment and shoot a gun.”