A 10-year-old boy has been charged with the murder of his father, whom he said was a known white supremacist. He initially confessed to the murder but has now said he was influenced by a popular television crime series.
Jeff Hall was shot at point-blank range while he slept, and his son is now on trial for his murder. The boy's defense attorneys argue that their client was exposed to violent images and hate speech through Hall's association with the National Socialist Movement.
"If you were going to create a monster, if you were going to create a killer, what would you do? You'd put him in a house where there's domestic violence, child abuse, and racism," attorney Matthew Hardy argued.
However, prosecutors have argued that the boy already had a history of violence and "would have shot his father even if he'd been a member of the Peace and Freedom Party. It made no difference," Michael Soccio told the court.
"He held the gun about a foot away and, as he explained, he took four fingers and put them into the trigger and pulled the trigger back and the gun discharged," Soccio explained.
The boy immediately told his stepmother what he had done, and did the same when police arrived. "He was sad about it. He wished he hadn't done it," police officer Michael Foster told the court. "He asked me about thinks like, do people get more than one life, things like that. He wanted to know if he [Hall] was dead or if he just had injuries."
The 10-year-old also said he didn't think he would actually be punished for his actions because he watched an episode of CBS' popular crime series "Criminal Minds." In one episode, a boy killed his abusive father but was not charged with any crime and was allowed to go free.
If the child is found guilty of murder, he could be held in state custody until he turns 23 years old.