A judge has ruled that a Riverside County boy found guilty of
killing his neo-Nazi father should be placed in a state-run
juvenile justice facility for seven years.
In her decision, Judge Jean P. Leonard agreed with
prosecutors that the boy, 13, had a history of violence and
posed a threat to public safety.
The boy's first parole hearing is scheduled to take place
when he is 20, but he could get out earlier with good
behavior, Leonard said.
Lawyers for the boy had argued that he has social and
emotional disabilities, as well as difficulties with speech
and vision. If he is rehabilitated by the time he becomes an
adult, he will need services that the lawyers say the state
facility cannot offer him.
They had advocated sending him to a private, residential
treatment facility that could meet those needs while also
restricting his access to the outside world. It became
apparent during the hearing, however, that such a place might
be difficult to find.
Leonard found in January that the boy - who was 10 when he
shot his father, Jeffrey Hall, in the head as he slept on a
couch in the family's living room - possessed the mental
capacity to know that killing his father was wrong. He was
found guilty of second-degree murder and using a gun while
committing a felony.
The boy, who was charged as a juvenile, can be held in state
custody until he is 23. The Los Angeles Times is withholding
his identity because of his age.
During his closing arguments, Chief Deputy District Attorney
Michael Soccio said the boy has demonstrated a propensity for
violence beyond killing his father, calling it a "hallmark of
his early life." Soccio recounted instances of aggression,
including attacking teachers. He said those inclinations had
continued during the two years he has been incarcerated.
The boy's lawyers agreed that it's crucial that the boy be
placed in a secure, highly structured environment. But they
contended that he needed more than what the state facilities
could offer him.
The boy "has considerable, pervasive and complicated
disabilities" that are partly the result of a decade of abuse
at the hands of his father, attorney Punam Grewal said.
Hall was a West Coast leader of a neo-Nazi organization known
as the National Socialist Movement. During the trial, an
attorney for the boy said Hall had routinely beaten him.
Shortly before Hall was killed, he had threatened to leave
the family and to set the house on fire with his children and
The boy, his attorneys argued, probably believed he was
acting to protect his family when, on the morning of May 1,
2011, he shot his father point-blank in the head.