Boy found responsible for killing father at age 10
Riverside (US): A boy who was 10 when he shot and killed his white supremacist father is responsible for the murder, a California judge found on Monday.
Prosecutors argued the boy, now 12, knew what he was doing when he shot 32-year-old Jeff Hall, a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement, and that the killing was premeditated.
Hall was shot at point-blank range while he slept on a sofa in the family home.
Defence attorney Matthew Hardy said his client grew up in an abusive and violent environment and learned it was acceptable to kill people who were a threat. Hardy argued that the boy thought if he shot his father, the violence would end.
The boy said in a videotaped interview with police that he didn`t think he`d get in trouble because he saw an episode of "Criminal Minds" in which a child killed an abusive father and wasn`t arrested.
The boy, who is not being identified by The Associated Press because of his age, did not testify at trial.
The boy`s younger sister bolstered the prosecution`s case by saying her brother plotted the shooting days in advance.
Prosecutors argued that the child killed his father to keep him from splitting up with his stepmother, who at first said she had killed Hall but then quickly retracted her statement. She was not charged in the case.
Prosecutors maintained Hall`s white supremacist beliefs had nothing to do with the crime. They noted the boy had a history of violence that included stabbing a teacher with a pencil.
Hardy said he hopes the boy, if convicted, would not be sent to a juvenile lockup but rather be placed in a private facility that offers therapy, medical treatment and schooling.
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