Neo-Nazi father murder: Defense to appeal


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

His attorneys urged the court last week to send the 13-year-old to a treatment center because of severe emotional and learning disabilities. But a judge instead ordered he be sent to a state juvenile detention center. The teenage boy was sentenced to 40 years to life.

"The most battered, broken, abused and disabled 10-year-old that cannot speak for himself -- that's who we put away. Where did we put him away? We sent him to a correction facility that is notorious for human rights violations," said Punam Grewal, the boy's attorney.

The Riverside County District Attorney's Office says because he is a minor, he would be eligible for parole in about seven years. But the boy's defense team called that just media spin to hide the fact that the teen could be incarcerated well beyond his 23rd birthday.

Grewal has filed an appeal in the hopes of overturning both the boy's conviction for second-degree murder and his placement in a juvenile facility, accusing everyone from the D.A.'s office to the judge of neglecting key evidence in the case.

"Six times in one day, he was beaten by his dad. He slept in his own vomit; he was pushed down the stairs," Grewel said. "All of this evidence came in. It was there. What did we make of it? Absolutely nothing."

Leading up to the murder, Grewal says Child Protective Services was called to the home 23 times. Some of those calls were made by the child's biological mother, Leticia Neal.

"We just want his suffering to stop and for his treatments to begin," Neal said.

Lawmakers, like state Sen. Leland Yee, want to change how young children who commit crimes are handled. He said he will be looking into creating a law similar to battered women syndrome but for children.

"Instead of providing imprisonment, that there ought to be some kind of a rehabilitative strategy to help these particular individuals," Yee said.

Grewal has called on Gov. Jerry Brown to pardon her client, and she also called on the attorney general to investigate alleged corruption in the D.A.'s office, the sentencing judge and Child Protective Services.

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