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Closing arguments begin in trial of Riverside 12-year-old accused of murdering his neo-Nazi dad

Jeff Hall's son sits on the stairs holding his shoe and eating a sandwich while a National Socialist Movement member stands near him in Hall's Riverside home.
Jeff Hall's son sits on the stairs holding his shoe and eating a sandwich while a National Socialist Movement member stands near him in Hall's Riverside home. Courtesy Julie Platner/Redux

Closing arguments begin Wednesday morning in Riverside in the trial of a boy accused of shooting his neo-Nazi father to death. The focus is expected be less about guilt and more about what the proper sentence should be for the now 12-year-old boy.  

The defense doesn't dispute  that he shot and killed his father, Jeff Hall, around 4 am on May 2, 2011, but argues that he didn't know it was wrong.

Hall was regional director of a neo-Nazi organization called the National Socialist Movement. Deputy Public Defender Matt Hardy will argue that Hall's son was the victim of an abusive household.

Deputy Dist. Atty.  Michael Soccio is expected to argue that the boy’s violent past, including an attempt to strangle a teacher with a telephone cord and stabbing classmates with pencils, shows he knew what he did was wrong.

The case is a rarity.  Over the past 32 years, there have been only 16 instances of 10-year-olds killing a parent.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard has already said she’s struggling with it. She plans to take several days to consider her decision and make her ruling at 9 am on Monday.
 
If she chooses the maximum sentence, the 12-year-old boy could be held in a locked juvenile facility until he’s 23.

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