A boy who shot his neo-Nazi father in the  head at age 10 has been found guilty of murder by a California judge.

Joseph Hall, now 12, was convicted of killing  Jeff Hall, 32, despite arguments from defense lawyers that the child was beaten  and kicked by his abusive father and that he was too young to understand what he  was doing.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard  found that Joseph was legally responsible for the death, but opted for a lesser  charge of second-degree murder – indicating that the killing was not  premeditated as prosecutors had argued.

Prosecutors say the boy has a history of  violent behavior – choking his teacher, stabbing his sister and clubbing his  uncle – and that he planned the killing because he didn’t like his  father.

Joseph Hall was just 10 when he admitted to shooting his father in the head at point blank range while he slept

He will be sentenced on February 15 and could  remain in custody until he is 23 – the maximum possible sentence for a juvenile  his age.

Joseph could be sent to a juvenile detention  lockup or could spend the time in a private care facility that would provide  treatment, therapy and schooling.

Defense lawyers have argued for the latter  sentence.

Jeff Hall was the regional leader of the  National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group and was an outspoken white  supremacist. Prosecutors have urged Judge Leonard to ignore Hall’s racist  affiliations – arguing that they have no bearing on the murder trial.

Joseph’s younger sister bolstered the  prosecution’s case last week by testifying that the boy plotted the shooting  days in advance.

‘This boy laid awake and thought about  shooting his father. He told investigators that he “thought this thing between  father and son had to end,”‘ Riverside County Deputy District Attorney Mike  Soccio said last week, according to the Desert Sun.

Prosecutors say he waited until Jeff Hall  passed out drunk on the couch after an argument with his wife and then retrieved  his father’s Rossi .357 magnum revolver and shot him in the head at point-blank  range.

Prosecutors argue that the child killed his  father to keep him from  splitting up with his stepmother, who at first said she  had killed  32-year-old Jeff Hall but then quickly retracted her statement. She  was  not charged in the case.

Joseph admitted to the shooting and told  police that he didn’t think he would be prosecuted because he saw an episode of  the TV crime drama criminal minds where a young boy killed his abusive father  and wasn’t arrested.

‘A bad father did something to his kids and  the kid did the exact same thing I did – he shot him,’ the boy said in a video  recording of an interview played at the trial.

‘He told the truth and wasn’t arrested and  the cops believed him. He wasn’t in trouble or anything. I thought maybe the  exact same thing would happen to me,’ Joseph said.

Defense attorney Matthew Hardy said his  client grew up in an abusive and violent environment and learned it was  acceptable to kill people who  were a threat. Hardy contended the boy thought if  he shot his dad, the  violence would end.

‘He was kept in an environment where he was  conditioned to use violence. He learned that from his dad,’ Hardy told the  judge.

He said the California Department of Public  Social Services received 20 complaints about the Hall household over seven  years, but never took action.

Joseph was also permanently expelled from  elementary school.

‘Society told him, “You’re all alone, kid,”‘  Hardy told the judge.

Prosecutors, though, say Joseph – even by age  10 – had a history of using violence to get what he wanted.

He choked a teacher, stabbed his little  sister and hit his uncle in the head with a club, according to  authorities.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here