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California appeals court upholds juvenile lockup for boy who shot and killed neo-Nazi dad

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RIVERSIDE, California — A Southern California boy who shot and killed his neo-Nazi father in 2011 lost a bid to have his case tossed when a state appellate court on Monday rejected his argument that a judge wrongly considered statements he made to authorities in violation of his Miranda rights.

A division of the 4th District Court of Appeal also said the court did not make a mistake when it allowed the boy to be evaluated by a doctor without his attorney being present.

There was substantial evidence to support the court's finding that the boy understood what he had done was wrong, and the court considered all of the relevant evidence before sending him to juvenile lockup as opposed to a less restrictive residential treatment center, the appeals court said.

Amy Quartarolo, an attorney for the boy, declined comment on the ruling.

Authorities say the boy shot and killed his father, 32-year-old Jeffrey Hall, at point-blank range as he slept on a sofa in their home on May 1, 2011, after a night of drinking. The boy told officers his father had repeatedly abused him, according to the appeals court.

He also had a history of violence that pre-dated his father's involvement with white supremacist causes, prosecutors said. At age 5, he stabbed a teacher with a pencil during his first day in kindergarten. He also tried to strangle a teacher with a phone cord, according to prosecutors.

A judge ordered the boy in 2013 to spend at least seven years in juvenile lockup. Judge Jean R. Leonard noted that had he been convicted as an adult he would have been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison. The longest he can be held as a juvenile is until age 23, and he would become eligible for parole in seven years.

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