The Straits Times
Published on Nov 06, 2012

California boy who shot neo-Nazi dad was abused: Psychologist


RIVERSIDE, California (REUTERS) - A psychologist testifying in the murder trial of a California boy who killed his neo-Nazi father last year told a court on Monday that the young defendant suffered mental issues from a "long history" of physical, emotional and likely sexual abuse.

Dr Robert Geffner was called to the witness stand by defense attorneys, who concede that Joseph Hall, now 12, shot his father at point blank range in May 2011 but argue that he should not be held criminally responsible.

"It's clear that violence is the appropriate way in his world," Dr Geffner said. "A repeated theme in conversations with him was killing. Another part of his focus was guns."

The case in Riverside County, east of Los Angeles, has drawn attention for Jeffrey Hall's neo-Nazi associations and the rarity of a parent being slain by a child as young as Joseph.