RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Lawyers for a Southern California boy who shot and killed his white supremacist father are trying to get the Supreme Court to review his case to get him a new trial.
Scott Ballenger, one of the boy's attorneys, said Friday they have asked the court to consider whether his client, who was 10 at the time, had the ability to waive his right to remain silent during a 2011 police interview after he shot local neo-Nazi leader Jeffrey Hall. The California Supreme Court last year refused to review the issue, which effectively let stand an appeals court ruling that found he could understand what he was doing when he confessed to authorities.
The boy shot Hall, who was known for his anti-immigration protests and failed campaign for a seat on a local water board, at point-blank range while he was sleeping on his sofa in May 2011 in Riverside County.
The boy, who had a history of violence that pre-dated his father's involvement in the National Socialist Movement, was found responsible for the murder in 2013 and ordered to spend at least seven years in a juvenile lock-up. His lawyers said years of horrific abuse left him with learning disabilities and emotional problems. The boy told police he was afraid he would have to choose between living with his sparring father and stepmother.
The Associated Press is not identifying the boy because of his age.
The California's Attorney General has argued against the Supreme Court taking the case.
Ballenger said the boy's stepmother should not have been allowed at the police interview since her husband was the victim, and wants the Supreme Court to review that issue.