A 10-year-old boy from California is on trial after allegedly murdering his neo-Nazi father. He admitted to authorities to killing his father in a videotape the prosecution played to the courts on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported.
The boy, who is now 12, is accused of shooting Jeff Hall, a regional leader in the National Socialist Movement.
The boy's younger sister testified that he had been plotting to kill their father for four days before he actually shot him, according to the Press-Enterprise of Riverside.
Prosecutors claim that the boy sneaked into his parents room, where he stole the gun and then shot his father behind the left ear as he slept on a couch.
The Associated Press reported that the children's identities are not being disclosed because they are both minors.
The boy is being tried in juvenile court, and if it's determined that he murdered his father, he may be held in custody until he is 23, the AP reported.
While the interview of the boy was played in court, he allegedly fidgeted in his chair and clanked the chains from his ankle cuffs on the chair as his head rested on the table.
The court had to stop the video at one point because the boy was falling asleep.
The boy held his stepmother's hand as he answered detective's questions, with rambling answers on the tape, according to the media accounts.
At one point, Riverside police Detective Roberta Hopewell asked the young boy for an example of something that might be wrong.
“I shot my dad,” the boy replied, the AP reported.
Prosecutor Michael Soccio doesn't believe that the young boy's father's neo-Nazi beliefs had anything to do with the murder.
According to Soccio, the boy believed his father was going to leave his stepmother, and he didn't want his family to separate. The prosecutor added the boy was angry because his father would beat him, his sister and their stepmother.
The boy has a violent history, which includes getting into trouble at school and reportedly attempting to strangle a teacher with a telephone cord, the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Matthew Hardy tried to explain to the jury that his client became violent because of his father's abusive behavior and neo-Nazi beliefs -- that they "conditioned" him to kill.
Hall taught his son how to shoot and brought him to neo-Nazi rallies. Hardy specifically pointed out that Hall took the boy to the Mexican border "to make sure he knew what to do to protect this place from Mexicans."
The defense suggested that Krista McCary, his stepmother, pushed the boy to murder Hall because she was upset about an alleged affair he was having with another woman.
McCary explained to detectives that she was mad at Hall, and even told them she was the one who murdered him at first, because she did not want her stepson to be prosecuted, the AP said.
The boy's stepmother has pleaded guilty to child endangerment and criminal storage of a firearm, a Riverside County district attorney spokesman said.
According to Kathleen M. Heide, a University of South Florida professor and author of “Why Kids Kill Parents,” who spoke to the AP, children 10 and under rarely kill their parents. Only 16 cases have been documented from 1996 to 2007.