Debate over where boy who killed neo-Nazi dad should serve sentence


Chief Deputy District Attorney Mike Soccio says the state's Department of Juvenile Justice is the best place for the teen.

"The more services he can get, the better, but while that is happening, somebody needs to make sure that he can't hurt other people," Soccio said.

In January, the court found the now-13-year-old intentionally murdered his father, regional neo-Nazi leader Jeff Hall. The boy was just 10 years old when he put a gun to his father's head as he slept and pulled the trigger.

"The first 10 years of his life, safety was a big issue violence was always there. This is an abnormal type of situation, horrific, horrific childhood," said Punam Grewal, lead defense counsel.

For that reason, the teen's attorney says the state lacks the necessary facility and treatments to deal with their client's specials needs.

"Their current facility is not equipped to provide the social, emotional and mental health needs that he requires," Grewal said.

At the hearing, a representative from the Department of Juvenile Justice testified that the 13-year-old's needs could be met at its facility in Stockton. Soccio says the boy spent time there this summer while being evaluated.

"He did fine. He held his own very well and improved in school," Soccio said. "They liked him, and he appeared to like them."

There was no decision on Friday, but the placement hearing is expected to resume Tuesday. A judge is expected to make her decision Wednesday. Either way, whether a private facility or a state-run center, the child is not likely to be released until his 20th birthday.

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