RIVERSIDE – The wife of a neo-Nazi organizer allegedly shot and killed by his 10-year-old son pleaded guilty today to child abuse and was immediately sentenced to four months in jail and four years probation.
During a settlement hearing before Riverside County Superior Court Judge J. Thompson Hanks, Krista Faye McCary, 26, withdrew her previous plea of not guilty to the felony charge as well as another allegation of failing to secure a firearm in a household with children present. McCary’s attorney, Leonard Valadez, negotiated a plea agreement with the District Attorney’s Office just before the hearing that called for the dismissal of four charges of child endangerment and three charges of failure to store a firearm in exchange for McCary’s guilty plea to the other two counts.
Hanks sentenced the Riverside woman to work release in lieu of jail time and ordered her to attend a 52-week child rearing program approved by the Department of Public Social Services.
Had McCary been convicted of all nine original felony charges, she could have faced around 30 years in prison.
Riverside police investigators allege McCary stood by and watched as her husband, 32-year-old Jeff Russell Hall, abused their five children, mainly the eldest boy, Joseph, who is McCary’s stepson.
There were numerous guns, knives and swords in the house, easily accessible to any of the children, according to Riverside police Detective Greg Rowe.
Rowe wrote in an arrest warrant affidavit that McCary acknowledged seeing Hall beat and verbally abuse Joseph.
”Krista said that Jeffrey did these things to punish (him),” Rowe wrote. ”Krista said that (the boy) would get punished for being too loud or getting in Jeffrey’s way. Krista said Jeffrey would get out of control when he punished (his son), including punching and kicking him several times in the back.”
Hall, a plumber, was the Southwest regional director of the Detroit- based National Socialist Movement, which advocates racial segregation. He was a visible presence at neo-Nazi rallies throughout the Inland Empire.
On May 1, Hall was sleeping on a front room sofa in his two-story Louder Court home when his son allegedly shot him in the head, using a Rossi .357 revolver that he’d pulled out of the master bedroom closet, according to investigators.
”The oldest child … admitted during the interview that he was tired of his dad hitting him and his (step)mom,” Rowe wrote. ”(He) said he thought his dad was cheating on his (step)mom and thought he might have to choose which person he would live with.”
Neither McCary or Joseph’s siblings — a 2-month-old, 3-year-old, 7-year- old and 9-year-old — were injured.
Hall was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
The detective described the house as ”filthy,” with dirty clothes scattered everywhere, urine-stained and soiled bed sheets and floors that ”didn’t appear to have been vacuumed in a long time.”
All of the youngsters are now in the care of child welfare workers.
Joseph is being held at Riverside Juvenile Hall. He’s undergoing psychiatric evaluations, and another hearing in the case is set for next month.
If convicted of murder and a sentence-enhancing gun use allegation, the 10-year-old could be imprisoned until he is 25.