(CBS/AP) RIVERSIDE, Calif. - The 10-year-old son of a neo-Nazi leader who allegedly told police that he shot his father as the man slept, asked an officer soon after the shooting if his father would survive, a police officer told the Riverside County juvenile court Tuesday.
Officer Michael Foster, who responded to the call of a shooting death on May 1, 2011, testified Tuesday on the first day of the boy's trial for murdering his father, Jeff Hall.
"He was sad about it, he wished he hadn't done it," Foster said. "He asked me about things like, 'Do people get more than one life,' things like that. He wanted to know if (the father) was dead or if he just had injuries."
Hall, 32, was an out-of-work plumber and a regional leads of the National Socialist Movement. He organized rallies at synagogues and a day labor site after his sister-in-law was killed six years ago by a hit-and-run driver who was an illegal immigrant, according to testimony.
In opening statements, prosecutor Michael Soccio dismissed defense arguments that Hall's neo-Nazi beliefs "conditioned" the child to kill. The boy was violent, angry and had been expelled from multiple schools, Soccio said.
He also said the boy, now 12, suspected his father was going to leave his stepmother, who had raised him since he was a toddler.
Defense attorney Matthew Hardy said his client grew up in an abusive and violent environment and learned that it was acceptable to kill people who were a threat.
Hall taught his son to shoot guns, and took him to neo-Nazi rallies and once to the Mexican border to "make sure he knew what to do to protect this place from the Mexicans," Hardy said.
"If you were going to create a monster, if you were going to create a killer, what would you do?" he said. "You'd put him in a house where there's domestic violence, child abuse, racism."
The defense suggested that the boy's stepmother, Krista McCary, goaded the child into killing Hall because her husband planned to leave her for another woman.
Several police officers testified that the boy and at least one sibling voluntarily gave statements immediately after the shooting that indicated the boy had killed his father.
One younger sister asked the boy why he hadn't shot their father in the stomach as he said he planned to do, according to Officer Robert Monreal, who recorded the exchange on a belt recorder.