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Neo-Nazi Murder Trial: Tragedy At Every Turn?

A 12-year-old is accused of killing his neo-Nazi father. What is the best one can hope for in this case?

A 12-year-old boy is standing trial for allegedly killing his abusive, neo-Nazi father in their Riverside home. If convicted, the child could be imprisoned until his 25th birthday.

Then what? What is the best one can hope for in this case? What if the boy's not found guilty by reason of insanity?

Here's the brief background on the case according to a Jan. 2 report from City News Service:

Prosecution testimony will resume Monday in the trial of a now 12-year-old boy who gunned down his neo-Nazi father in what defense attorneys argue was the act of a mentally ill child.

Joseph Hall shot 32-year-old Jeff Russell Hall in the head as the man slept on a living room couch on the night of May 1, 2011, according to prosecutors. The youth, who confessed to the shooting, could be imprisoned until his 25th birthday if convicted of first-degree murder.

He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Click on the attached 60 Minutes video report on the killing.

In early November, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard called a halt to the nonjury bench trial after nearly a week of testimony because of concerns about an expert witness called by the prosecution.

Dr. Craig Rath, a 30-year mental health practitioner based in San Bernardino, was asked to render an opinion regarding the ability of Joseph to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

The defense objected to the witness's appearance because he had already testified regarding whether Joseph was competent to stand trial. Leonard agreed and suspended proceedings until Jan. 7 to give the District Attorney's Office sufficient time to find another psychologist.

That individual, as yet unnamed, is slated to testify Monday.

According to testimony, Jeff Hall came home drunk on the night he was killed and bedded down on a downstairs sofa because he and his wife, 27-year-old Krista McCary, had been arguing.

Joseph went into a master bedroom closet and retrieved his dad's .357- caliber Rossi revolver, crept into the living room and walked to within a couple of feet of the sleeping man before pulling the trigger, killing him instantly, witnesses testified.

The child told a Riverside police investigator that he was afraid of having to live with the white supremacist if the victim and McCary divorced.

McCary, who was convicted of child endangerment in 2011 and served four months in jail, testified that she had witnessed her late husband slap and kick Joseph on multiple occasions.

Department of Public Social Services investigators looked into complaints that Joseph was being abused physically, even sexually, but did not remove the boy from the household.

Unexplained marks on the boy prompted complaints to DPSS between 2003 and 2010, without any apparent repercussions. There were also concerns the child was mentally disabled and not being properly treated for the disability, according to testimony.

McCary acknowledged that the hyperactive boy had a "learning disability" but was not handicapped.

She and Jeff Hall had four children together. Joseph was the product of a prior marriage but was placed in his father's custody.

Brenda January 04, 2013 at 01:05 AM
You are right keepn it real. But Cps can sure let a delinguent kid run away 25 times, then just tell the Judge they want to live somewhere else, (because the parents have stopped enabling them to run away, miss school, not do homework, sneak in and out of house at all hours, do drugs, drink) and fricking GET TO DO IT WITH NO REASON. Judges say, CPS says, if a child comes to them and says, I am not happy at home, I dont like it there, I want to go and live with this family, THAT child can do it. Without anyone knowing who that family is or have ever met them. AS long as they pass a short few hour investigation they get your child, all because your child is angry because WE ARE PARENTS ARE going to enforce rules so our children are safe!! But then there is this poor boy who they CONSTANTLY FAIL TO HELP. This boy got lucky in one area, HE IS ALIVE, thanks to God. CPS is run by girls right out of college who do NOT have a clue what is child abuse, what is not, about a meeting with a parent that gets confrontational, or how to investigate the family via friends at school, in the neighborhood, EVERYTHING. We have had so many children end up dead after our wonderful CPS has been out to a home, seen that a child has sores, infections, wounds, a filthy trailer to live in, and they do not remove it. Next day that 4 month old child is thrown against a wall and is dead. THAT is our CPS workers. We need seasoned parents who know what is what in this world, not book worms.
Oldtimer Lu January 04, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Sounds like this kid was dealt a pretty crummy hand in life. Time to get him some help and chance to be normal.
Brenda January 04, 2013 at 08:04 PM
True Oldtimer :) Jail is not the answer it will for sure make him a criminal if his upbringing so far hasn't. He needs to be out in the sunshine, on a ranch or something. With a family with Atvs, horses, things he never did before. Experience life and maybe he will have a chance emotionally to not be insane or mentally disturbed all his life. Hell matter a fact all the young kids in our jails and institutes probably all need the same thing which would give them a huge chance at life instead of just learning more ways to be bad.
No one January 04, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Child of 7 has not attained the age of reasoning and is even more hampered being raised by 2 people who seem to lack even basic parenting skills. The story above indicates his mom spent time in jail for child endangerment, even with that, the poor little kid could not stomach the thought of living with Neo-Nazi dad. He needs to be in a loving home with parents who can get him the help he needs. Jail time for this child will just breed more crime!
TVOR January 05, 2013 at 05:18 PM
I think the kid should spend some time in an institution being evaluated and counseled about what has happened and if teh docs think he is good to go, let him go and live his life. The bottom line is to make sure the kid is not going to be a risk to society.

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