A 19-year-old gamer has been arrested and charged with others for their hand in having police officers kill a civilian.
Ohio’s Casey S. Viner, 19, is now locked up with his co-conspirator Tyler Raj Barriss after getting into that “rare” online gaming occurrence called trash talking. According to a police affidavit, this all happened on Call of Duty: WWII.
This is not the first time an event of this nature has taken place, “swatting” is a trend that sees gamers calling officers to each other’s homes under false pretenses.
Barriss, 25, claimed to dispatchers that the victim was holding their mother and brother at gunpoint while planning to kill themselves and set fire to the house. This was done through the use of an app to alter his LA area code to match the area code of the deceased.
However, Viner found an old address for the player they argued with and officers surrounded the house of Andrew Finch, 28, in Witchita, Kansas. Finch was then fired upon, only to later die from the gunshot wounds in the hospital in Dec. 2017, officials said.
Police also said Viner attempted to erase his communication history with Barriss. Now, Viner has received his sentencing of 15 months in jail after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy and obstructing justice, respectively. The teen also has to pay restitution fees of about $2,500 and undergo two years of supervised release.
“I never intended for anything to happen. I think of it every day,” Viner said in a courtroom statement.
On the other hand, Barriss got 20 years back in March after pleading guilty to creating false police reports (including this one). There were three defendants in this case.
Stephen McAllister, the US Attorney for the District of Kansas said to reporters this is “by far the longest prison sentence in the country ever imposed for the practice of swatting.”
What’re your thoughts on the swatting trend? Do you think the two got the right sentencing? Leave your comments below.