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In May 2011, a 10-year-old boy allegedly executed his father as he slept on the living room couch in their Southern California home. The victim, Jeff Hall, was a white supremacist leader and the West Coast director for the National Socialist Movement.
On Tuesday, the trial began in what prosecutors call "a case that shocks the conscience."
Attorneys for the now 12-year-old boy, who has admitted to the killing in his Riverside home, blame the murder on the neo-Nazi environment. They also say the boy’s stepmother encouraged him to pull the trigger.
But prosecutors argue the "cold, calculated murder" was totally unrelated to neo-Nazism.
Before he was a white supremacist, Jeff Hall was a construction worker in the Inland Empire. Family members described him as "loving" and a "good father" at that time.
His son, who would later kill him, apparently was not loving or good, according to prosecutors.
They pointed out that officials kicked the boy out of as many as nine elementary schools for bad behavior. He allegedly stabbed a teacher with a pencil once and choked another with a telephone cord.
Prosecutors say the boy told his younger sister he would shoot their father two days before he did. She will testify later in the trial.
In a taped interview between the boy and a detective shown in court, the boy can be heard saying that he killed his father because he’d had enough of his father’s abusive behavior.
Attorneys expect the trial to last two weeks.
If convicted, the boy could be jailed until he is 23. He has pleaded not guilty by reasons of insanity.