After much national media attention, today a Riverside County Superior Court judge found true that a boy committed second-degree murder when he shot and killed his father in their Riverside home in May 2011.
Joseph Hall, now 12, was 10 years old when, on May 1, 2011, he shot his father Jeffrey Hall in the head as he slept on a couch.
After the killing, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office filed a petition in juvenile court charging the boy with murder. Joseph Hall could not be tried as an adult because of his age.
The trial of Joseph Hall started on Oct. 30, 2012, before Judge Jean P. Leonard. This was a court trial before the judge only and did not involve a jury.
The case has drawn media attention because the deceased was a self-titled Neo-Nazi and there were allegations of child abuse during the trial.
The prosecution argued the crime was
Today in juvenile court, Judge Leonard said there is not a “guilty” or “not guilty,” but instead findings of “true” or “not true.”
The judge found true that Joseph Hall committed second-degree murder and that the juvenile knew what he did was wrong, pursuant to Penal Code section 26. She also found that the boy personally used a firearm during the commission of the crime.
There now will be a dispositional hearing scheduled for Feb. 15, 2013, to determine placement of the boy. With this true finding, he could remain in custody until his 23rd birthday. That hearing will also be held before Judge Leonard at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.