Murder of Jeff Hall
|Born||Jeffrey Russell Hall
November 21, 1978
|Died||May 1, 2011
|Cause of death||Gunshot|
|Body discovered||By wife|
|Title||Southwestern States Regional Director|
|Political party||National Socialist Movement|
|Children||Joseph, Shirley, and three others|
Jeffrey Russell "Jeff" Hall was a plumber in Riverside, California, and the regional leader of the National Socialist Movement. On May 1, 2011, he was shot to death, with his own gun, by his own 10-year-old son Joseph. The murder took place at 4 a.m. as Hall slept on his couch.
In October 2013, when the boy was 13, he was sentenced to seven more years in juvenile prison, despite his defense attorney portraying him as a victim of both his father's racist beliefs and his violent upbringing.
Jeffrey Hall was the son of Joann Patterson. He was previously married to Leticia Neal, having two children with her, Joseph and Shirley. Joseph was born June 19, 2000. The two divorced sometime after, after which Neal had twins by another father. In 2003, the twins were hospitalized for failing to thrive, resulting in Child Protective Services removing Hall's two children. Social workers reported that Neal's home had no electricity or gas, that there were maggots on dishes, and that the children were dirty, malnourished, and had bruises. At the time, Hall was on probation for driving under the influence. As a result, his two children were temporarily placed with their grandmother. In 2004, Hall was granted full custody of his children.
After divorcing Neal, Hall married Krista McCary and had three more daughters with her. At the time of his death, he had five children. His ex-wife Neal moved out of California and remarried, then she came back to California only a month before the shooting, and was attempting to regain custody of her son.
According to his grandmother, Joseph was a volatile and violent child. He had been expelled from several schools for attacking students and staff, once nearly choking a teacher with a phone cord. She said he had no understanding of cause and effect. Joseph and his sisters had been educated at home by their parents under the guidance of River Springs Charter School.
Hall's political activity
For three years, 32-year-old Hall had been having difficulty finding work because of the economic downturn in the construction industry. Blaming his problems on Jews and non-whites, he became a local leader in the Neo-Nazi movement.
In October 2009, Hall led a group from the National Socialist Movement (NSM) in a rally near a day-laborer site in Riverside. They wore World War II-era Nazi garb. In a November 2009 interview, about the rallies in Riverside, Arizona, and Minnesota, Hall said, "They're proud of who they are, tired of white guilt being shoved on their kids and multiculturalism. They can't see any reason for it."
In 2010, he ran for election against an incumbent for the Western Municipal Water District board as a white supremacist, and he received about a third of the vote.
In March 2011, Hall and his group of about two dozen white supremacists took to the streets in the affluent, primarily residential Claremont, Los Angeles County, sometimes called "The City of Trees and Ph.D.s". They had a screaming confrontation with counter-protesters of more than 200 immigrant rights activists, who decried the group as racist. Hall said, "We patrol the borders, we see the devastation, we see the drugs, we know the reality." Dozens of officers from several police agencies were on hand.
Just 12 hours before Hall's death, a reporter from The New York Times was in Hall's home, interviewing him and members of his group. She also spoke to the ten-year-old, who showed off a leather belt bearing a silver insignia of the Nazi SS that his father had given him.
Hall bragged that he was teaching his eldest son Joseph to use night-vision equipment and to shoot a gun. Eventually, the ten-year-old child told police how he took a .357 revolver from a shelf in the closet, pulled the hammer back, aimed the gun at his father's ear while he was asleep on the couch, and shot him.
Joseph admitted to police that he was tired of his dad hitting him and his mother. His 26-year-old stepmother, Krista, also said that Hall had been violent with her and the son, sometimes losing self-control and kicking his son in the back. He punished his children in varying extremes on a daily basis. The police report said that the house was filthy, with the floor littered with clothes, and the odor of urine. Many weapons were accessible to the children.
The son was arrested and taken to juvenile hall, while the other four children were taken into protective custody. Krista was later arrested and charged with criminal storage of firearms and child neglect. Joann Patterson, Hall's mother and Joseph's grandmother, was given temporary custody of the other four children. On a 60 Minutes interview, she said that her grandson had been misbehaving by starting fires. She was not surprised that he killed his father, but she had expected it would not happen until her grandson was older.
The son stated his motivation for the killing was an episode of Criminal Minds, where he claimed he saw a kid shoot his abusive father and did not face any consequences for it. He also believed his father would recover from being shot and that the two of them could reconcile.
Prosecution of son
On January 14, 2013, BBC News reported that the younger Hall, despite his age at the time of the murder, was responsible for Jeff Hall's death and could be sent to a juvenile detention facility. His sentencing hearing began on April 15, with his lawyers presenting evidence about his psychological well-being. Joseph was sentenced to juvenile detention until he reaches the age of 23. He is eligible for parole at age 20. He has appealed the conviction and sentence.
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- Declaration in Support of Arrest Warrant for Krista Faye McCary, May 17, 2011, Case RIF1101077
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- "Boy who shot dead his neo-Nazi father thought he wouldn't get in trouble because he'd seen it in an episode of Criminal Minds". MailOnline. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2014-02-08.
- "10-year-old accused of killing neo-Nazi father may pursue insanity defense, his attorney says". L. A. Now. May 4, 2011.
- "Boy found responsible for killing neo-Nazi father". BBC News. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- "Sentencing postponed for California boy who killed neo-Nazi dad". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Gloria Romero (Oct 21, 2013). "Prison or treatment for young killer?". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2013-10-30.
- Maura Dolan (October 16, 2015). "Court lets stand a ruling that a 10-year-old can validly waive Miranda rights". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- Joseph Hall Legal Defense Fund
- 60 minutes: The murder of an American Nazi which aired on Sept. 25, 2011
- May 19 Los Angeles Times article
- May 5 New York Times article
- May 4 Los Angeles Times article
- Hall running for Water Board in 2010
- National Socialist Movement In Memoriam
- River Springs Charter School