Boy Who Shot Neo-Nazi Dad Sentenced to 10 Years in Juvenile Detention
Joseph Hall, who was just 10 years old when he put a gun to his father's ear and pulled the trigger in 2011, was sentenced to 10 years in juvenile detention today in California.
Hall was convicted of second-degree murder in January. He told authorities that he killed his dad, the neo-Nazi leader Jeff Hall, because his parents were getting a divorce and he didn't want to have to make a decision about who to live with. NBC News reports that Joseph was physically abused as a child and afflicted with behavioral issues.
The judge ruled today that Joseph will be eligible for parole in seven years and that the latest he can be released is when he's 23.
Apparently the fourth-grader — who, like his nine-year-old sister, knew where all of his parents' guns were kept — took a Rossi .357 revolver from a closet early one morning:
[Redacted] told Detective [Roberta] Hopewell that he went downstairs with the gun, pulled the hammer back, aimed the gun at his dad's ear while he was asleep and shot him. [Redacted] said he went upstairs and hid the gun under his bed.As for why:
[Redacted]... admitted during the interview that he was tired of his dad hitting him and his [step-]mom. [He] said he thought his dad was cheating on his [step=]mom and thought he might have to choose which person he would live with.The scene on the detective's arrival didn't paint a picture of domestic bliss, either. The Hall house was reportedly "filthy." "The bedrooms smelled like urine," the report explains, and the bedding — including the mattresses — was "stained and soiled." The decoration downstairs: A National Socialist Movement flag and a California Republic flag.
And the guns. The court document is part of a case against the boy's stepmother, Krista McCary, for child endangerment and failure to properly store a firearm; the detective account confirms that not only did Hall and McCary keep several weapons, but that "three out of the four children" knew the (easily-accessible) location of the .357 revolver.
Given the apparent physical abuse, where was Child Protective Services? According to the report, the agency had "numerous contacts" with the Hall-McCary household but "most of the allegations were unfounded" — reported as part of a "bitter child custody dispute" between Hall and his ex-wife. Clearly, CPS will be playing a role going forward. The boy, for his part, will go a court-ordered mental-health evaluation soon.