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But Riverside County Deputy Public Defender Matt Hardy, in his opening statement, focused on the boy’s upbringing by a father with ties to the National Socialist Movement that had “conditioned him with racism and violence.”
The defense attorney said Jeffrey Hall, 32, took his son to neo-Nazi rallies. Child protective services had been called to the home 20 times, Hall added.
“Joseph, for his own reasons, decided to kill his father, to protect himself and his family, to stop the violence and be a hero,” he said.
Hardy said that on the night before the shooting, Jeffrey Hall had gone to a National Socialist Movement party and left the gathering with a woman, returning home at 3:30 a.m.
On the night before the killing, Hardy said, Jeffrey Hall sent a text message to his wife, Joseph Hall’s stepmother, reading: “Bitch, get out of the house, I’m divorcing you.”
Joseph Hall attended the proceedings but showed little reaction to the statements or to the grim photographs of his dead father.