A judge in California ruled Thursday that a 13-year-old boy who shot and killed his neo-Nazi father must serve up to 10 years in a state juvenile facility.
Joseph Hall, who was 10-years-old at the time of the shooting, will be eligible for parole in 7 years, according to a ruling on Thursday by Judge Jean Leonard of Riverside County. Judge Leonard ruled that the maximum time Hall can serve would be until he is 23.
The ruling comes after months of arguments about where to place the boy after he was convicted of second-degree murder in January.
Prosecutors had sought for him to placed in the state’s juvenile justice system, but the boy’s defense attorneys argued for him to be placed in a residential treatment center
"My wish for Joseph is that he goes to an education place that can get him the help he needs — educational, and emotional too," Leticia Neal, his mother, told NBC Los Angeles last Friday, adding she feared his needs wouldn't be met if he were sent to a state juvenile justice facility.
Hall had been living in Riverside County, Calif.’s juvenile hall in the two years after the fatal shooting on May 1, 2011 of his father, regional neo-Nazi leader Jeff Hall.
Jeff Hall was asleep on the couch after a night of drinking when Joseph shot his father point blank in the head. He later told police his father and stepmother were going to get a divorce, and he feared he would have to choose which parent to live with.
NBC reported that the boy grew up in a very abusive environment, and had learning challenges and behavioral issues.
On Wednesday, a Riverside County prosecutor argued that the boy should be sent to Juvenile Justice O.H. Close Detention Center in Stockton to protect him and the public, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.
Joseph would be the youngest person in the lockup, and prosecutors have acknowledged he likely would be placed with some of the most violent offenders.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Soccio read a letter from the boy's grandmother that said the family has endured a "walk through hell," the newspaper reported.
"There are three little girls who miss their daddy every day," the letter said. "The only way his death can make sense is if (the boy) gets the help he so desperately needs. He needs both quality and secure placement."