A 12-year-old guilty of murder killed his allegedly abusive neo-Nazi father when he was only 10. The son of the deceased man, Jeffrey Hall, is not being identified by name due to his age. Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard ruled that the youth was guilty because he knew the difference between right and wrong at the time of the shooting. According to a Christian Science Monitor report dated Jan. 14, 2013, the boy was convicted of second degree murder.
Despite the abuse and neglect that the young boy suffered at the hands of his father, the judge found the 12-year-old guilty of murder, and the child could remain incarcerated until he is 23 years old. He is slated to be sentenced for his crime on Feb. 15, 2013.
The 32-year-old victim was shot to death as he slept in his bed. He was a member of the National Socialist Movement and regularly attended white supremacist meetings, even bringing his son with him. Prosecutors described the deceased as a loving father, but the defense argued that Hall was a violent man who physically abused his son and threatened to burn down the family home. The 12-year-old guilty of murder claimed his stepmother encouraged him to stop the violence by killing his father. She was not charged.
It is a tragic story because this youngster needed help that never came. If he suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of his father, he may have believed it was up to him to save the family from violence. That's a terrible burden for someone so young, but is it justification for murder? That is up to the courts to decide, and this court decided it was not justification for the murder of Jeffrey Hall.