Boy convicted of second-degree murder of neo-Nazi father
A California boy, now aged 12, has been convicted of second-degree murder for shooting dead his neo-Nazi father, following a juvenile trial that centred on allegations of abuse and the defendant’s grasp of right and wrong.
The verdict by Judge Jean Leonard means that Joseph Hall, who was 10 years old when he shot his father to death at point-blank range in May 2011, could be sentenced to a juvenile facility until he is 23. Jeffrey Hall (32) was a regional director of the National Socialist Movement, a white separatist group.
The case has made headlines because of his neo-Nazi ties and the rarity of a parent being killed by a child so young.
Judge Leonard said she weighed evidence that the boy had suffered a lifetime of abuse.
“He was abused and neglected from the womb,” she said. “The NSM taught him things a minor should not know about.” She had determined that at the time of the shooting Joseph Hall understood that what he was doing was wrong.
His defence had argued that Hall should not be held responsible for his actions because a lifetime of abuse and his father’s neo-Nazi activities had conditioned him to violence.
Prosecutors however said the boy shot his father because he thought he was planning to divorce his stepmother and break up the family. – (Reuters)