RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California judge ruled Thursday that a 13-year-old boy who was 10 when he killed his neo-Nazi father will spend at least the next seven years in a state juvenile facility.
Judge Jean R. Leonard said the maximum the boy can serve would be until he is 23. He’ll be eligible for parole in seven years.
The decision came after prosecutors and defense attorneys argued for months about the best placement to assure his safety and rehabilitation.
His attorneys say the boy was severely abused and has serious emotional and learning disabilities from a brutal and twisted childhood.
The Riverside County boy shot Jeffrey Hall, 32, at point-blank range as he slept on a sofa on their home in 2011.
The boy told police he was afraid he would have to choose between living with his father or stepmother if they divorced.
He was convicted of second-degree murder. The Associated Press is not naming the boy because of his age. His father was regional leader of the National Socialist Movement.
On Wednesday, a Riverside County prosecutor argued that the boy should be sent to Juvenile Justice O.H. Close Detention Center in Stockton to protect him and the public, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. He would be the youngest person in the lockup, and prosecutors have acknowledged he probably would be placed with some of the most violent offenders.
Defense attorneys, however, say the teen has serious emotional disabilities that the state isn’t equipped to handle and he should go to an out-of-state treatment center.