RIVERSIDE (AP) — A plea has been delayed for a 10-year-old Southern California boy charged with murdering his white supremacist father, a prosecutor said on Wednesday.
The juvenile court in Riverside agreed to appoint a psychologist to advise the boy's defense attorney on his mental state, said Ambrosio E. Rodriguez, senior deputy district attorney.
The next hearing in the case is July 22, Rodriguez said.
A message seeking comment was left for Deputy Public Defender Matt Hardy, who has said he is considering an insanity defense.
Authorities say the boy intentionally shot 32-year-old Jeff Hall --a regional leader of the National Socialist Movement -- while he was sleeping with a handgun early Sunday morning May 1.
Court documents say the boy told investigators he shot his father after growing tired of him hitting
him and his stepmother. A police declaration released Wednesday, states that the boy said he thought Hall was cheating on his stepmother and that he might have to choose who to live with.
Authorities say they believe the handgun used in the shooting came from the house where the boy lived with Hall, his step-mother Krista McCary and four younger siblings.
McCary, 26, was charged Tuesday with nine felonies of child endangerment and criminal storage of a gun. Authorities issued a warrant for her arrest.
Court records show Hall and his ex-wife Leticia Neal slugged through a divorce and dispute over the custody of their two children nearly a decade ago and each accused the other of child abuse. In 2003, the boy and his sister were removed from Neal's home when her 3-month-old twins by another father were hospitalized for failing to thrive.
Hall's children had bruises and injuries but social workers could not determine their origin or the extent of any abuse.
Hall was granted custody of the children in 2004.
Last year, Neal filed for joint custody, saying Hall's neo-Nazi ties made her "scared of what will happen to my kids." Hall opposed the request, noting the children had not received a call from their mother in six years and were now doing better in classes and participating in after-school activities, according to court files.
The boy was being taught at home as a pupil of the River Springs Charter School.
The day before his death, Hall held a regular meeting of members of the National Socialist Movement at his home in Riverside.
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