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Boy, 12, guilty of murder in death of neo-Nazi dad

Sandy Huffaker / AP file

In this photo taken Oct. 22, 2010, Jeff Hall holds a neo-Nazi flag while standing at Sycamore Highlands Park near his home in Riverside, Calif.

A 12-year-old was found responsible for the second-degree murder of his father, a regional director of a neo-Nazi organization, a judge ruled Monday.

The "responsible" verdict is the juvenile court equivalent of guilty.

Riverside Superior Court Judge Jean Leonard acknowledged the boy's "long history of abuse and neglect." The case was heard without a jury.

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Leonard agreed with a psychologist who testified during trial that for the boy, "the potential for violence could have been predicted" based on prenatal substance abuse by the mother, domestic violence between parents and the father's neo-Nazi philosophy.

Leonard said she considered the boy's age, the circumstance of the crime, the boy's experience, including family and mental condition, and his understanding of the crime.

"This was not a naive boy," Leonard said. "(He) knew about hate" and "knew what he was doing was wrong at the time of the crime."

Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 15.

In May 2011, the then 10-year-old boy shot and killed his father Jeff Hall with a .357 Magnum at pointblank range. The 32-year-old was asleep on the family's couch at the time of his death.

The child pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Prosecutors argued that the boy had a history of violence and told his younger sister two days before the shooting that he planned to kill his father.