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Closing arguments given in boy's trial for murder of neo-Nazi dad

January 9, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Defense attorneys argued during closing arguments Wednesday that a Riverside boy charged with killing his neo-Nazi father was pre-programmed for criminal behavior.

The 12-year-old defendant appeared to listen intently as lawyers delivered their final arguments. The boy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Jeff Hall, 32, was shot in the head in 2011 by his then-10-year-old son. Hall was an out-of-work plumber and the regional leader of the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi organization.

"I think that there's a strong argument that this young man should not be held morally, legally responsible for what he did," said defense attorney Matt Hardy.

In his closing argument, Hardy asked the court to consider involuntary manslaughter saying the child had been exposed to drugs in his mother's womb and conditioned for violence by his neo-Nazi father.

The prosecution says Hall's affiliation with the neo-Nazi group should not be considered.

Hardy goes on to say the boy thought he was protecting his family by killing his abusive father.

"He needs to take some type of a program that is going to address these issues and address the fact that we as a society for the first 10 years of his life didn't do a damn thing to protect him," said Hardy.

But the prosecution called the defense's claim of a violent upbringing fictional, stating Hall's connection to the neo-Nazi party had nothing to do with the murder.

During closing arguments, Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Soccio told the court the defendant knew killing his father was wrong, and that the boy shot his father in the head because he feared his father was about to divorce his stepmother.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard will return to the courtroom Monday. If she makes a decision finding the murder charge is true then the 12-year-old will remain in custody until his 23rd birthday.


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