Preteen admits to killing his father
By The Associated Press
Published: Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 7:54 p.m.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A 10-year-old California boy on trial for murder in the death of his neo-Nazi father told detectives in a videotaped interview aired in court on Wednesday that he killed his dad.
The video was played by prosecutors in the case against the boy, now 12, who is accused of shooting Jeff Hall, a regional leader in the National Socialist Movement.
In addition, the boy's younger sister testified that her brother planned for four days to kill their father, according to The Press-Enterprise of Riverside.
Prosecutors allege the boy snuck a gun from his parents' bedroom closet and shot Hall once behind the left ear as he slept on a couch.
The Associated Press is not identifying the children because they are juveniles. The boy is being tried in juvenile court, and if a judge decides the boy killed his father, he could be held in state custody until he is 23.
As the taped interview was played, the boy fidgeted in his chair and clanked his ankle chains together while resting his head on the table. The court had to stop the video briefly because the boy was nodding off, the newspaper reported.
On the tape, the boy sat holding his stepmother's hand and gave rambling answers to detectives.
In one exchange, Riverside police Detective Roberta Hopewell asked the boy for an example of something that might be wrong.
“I shot my dad,” the boy said, according to the newspaper.
Prosecutor Michael Soccio said earlier in the trial that Hall's neo-Nazi beliefs had nothing to do with the murder.
The boy killed his father because he suspected Hall was going to leave his stepmother and he didn't want the family to split up, Soccio said. He also told the judge hearing the case that the child was angry because Hall beat him, his siblings and his stepmother, who had raised the boy since he was a toddler.
The boy had been expelled from multiple schools for violent behavior, including stabbing a teacher with a pencil on his first day of kindergarten and later trying to strangle a teacher with a telephone cord, the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Matthew Hardy said his client grew up in an abusive and violent environment because of his father's neo-Nazi beliefs and was “conditioned” to kill.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama, House Republicans trade accusations in thwarting immigration reform
- Denver wife killed 12 minutes into 911 call, sparking inquiry
- Penguins rally to escape with victory in Game 1 vs. Columbus
- Peduto says Penguins playoff series will be economic boon
- Q&A with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman
- Veteran North Huntingdon police officer fired
- Former Pitt captain Cavanaugh blazes trail as entrepreneur
- Penguins notebook: Goc skates, tests ailing ankle
- Reward offered in six-year-old homicide in Clairton
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- Legislative sting’s scope broad, diverse