Teen Involved With Fatal Swatting Sentenced To 15 Months, Banned From Gaming
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Casey Viner, the second of three gamers involved in a swatting hoax that led to the death of an innocent man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. Upon release, he will also be barred from gaming or any gaming related activities for another two years, reports the Associated Press.
Back in December 2017, the Ohio-based Viner made a bet of $1.50 with Tyler R. Barriss through Call of Duty: WWII which ultimately led to Barriss being prompted to falsely report to police that another gamer, Shane Gaskill, was holding his family hostage. "Swatting", if you haven't heard the term, refers to a form of hoax in which a culprit makes a prank emergency call to the law enforcement in an effort to get said law enforcement to storm a victim's home. It is, as I'm sure I don't need to tell you, a deeply stupid thing to do to someone.
Barriss rose to Viner's dare and called in a false report to the Wichita, Kansas address that he believed to be Gaskill's. Unfortunately, said address was actually Gaskill's old one. The police arrived at the home of 28-year-old Andrew Finch, a father of two with no idea what was going on. He was killed by the police when he opened the door.
Casey Viner has left with his attorney. We haven't seen Gaskill come out yet.- Nichole Manna (@NicholeManna) June 13, 2018
Attorneys for both have declined to comment. pic.twitter.com/emIrgEiDL6
Barriss was sentenced to 20 years back in March for his involvement with the incident, as well as his previous history in hoax calls to law enforcement. Gaskill was also reportedly charged as a co-conspirator, as he had given Barriss his old address and taunted him to "try something." Viner initially attempted to conceal his involvement in the swatting during investigations, but was ultimately caught, and pleaded guilty to felony charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice back in April.
The AP reports that Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett had told the court that Viner, who had turned 18 two weeks before the incident, would have been better off facing probation rather than prison. "At his age and his youthfulness, I am not sure he is going to get it if he is sitting in a cell block with people who are more hardened, more experienced than he is," she argued.
Despite this, US District Judge Eric Melgren believed that the severity of the crime necessitated a prison sentence. The 15-month sentence was also likely handed down to Viner in part as a way of setting an example in an attempt to discourage further swatting.