A 12-year-old was found guilty of murder when the judge ruled that the boy, who killed his father at the age of 10, knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger.
Sandy Huffaker / AP / File
A 12-year-old boy was found guilty of murder in a Los Angeles courtroom today. Though he was only 10 when he fatally shot his white supremacist father, the judge said that the child knew what he did was wrong, and is thus guilty of second-degree murder.
Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard weighed the severity of the crime against the effects of the abuse and neglect inflicted on the now-12-year-old boy by his father, Jeff Hall, a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement, who was 32 when he died. The boy, who is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 15, could be incarcerated until he is 23.
During the trial, the slender 12-year-old boy in big eyeglasses appeared to listen intently as lawyers argued over whether he knew the difference between right and wrong when he shot his sleeping neo-Nazi father to death. The boy is not being identified by The Associated Press because of his age.
In arguments in juvenile court, the prosecution contended the boy knew what he was doing, premeditated the killing and should be found guilty of murder. The defense argued he was damaged by a violent home and was seeking to protect himself and his family.