RIVERSIDE — A 12-year-old boy who killed his neo-Nazi father has been convicted of second-degree murder by a judge.
Now the judge must decide what to do with the boy.
Probably not a surprise that the judge found that the boy committed second-degree murder, a boy whom we will not identify.
What is surprising is the lack of certainty about the boy’s future.
Judge Jean Leonard admitted to a packed courtroom that she’s struggled with every aspect of this case.
A 12-year-old boy told police he was afraid his neo-Nazi father would follow through on his threat to burn down the house and kill the family.
The boy put his father’s loaded pistol to his dad’s head and pulled the trigger.
In this non-jury trial, the judge found the boy committed second-degree murder after deciding the boy knew right from wrong when he deliberately killed his father.
Psychiatrists have testified that the boy’s birth mother used heroin, LSD and other drugs during her pregnancy and that the boy’s father often beat the boy and raised him in an environment in which violence was encouraged as a way of solving problems.
A hearing has been set for February 15th for the judge to decide the most difficult question of all: What to do with the boy until he’s at least 23 years old.
Sentence him to the department of juvenile justice, a lock-up, or somewhere else?
The boy’s defense attorney says regardless of what “sentence” the judge decides on, he will appeal the case.