Two teens who allegedly contributed to Call of Duty swatting murder plead not guilty

    
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Reuters has an update on the ongoing criminal cases against the some of the defendants in the Call of Duty swatting incident from last year that led to an innocent man’s death.

As we’ve previously chronicled, California resident Tyler Barriss reportedly called Wichita police to detail a supposed murder/hostage/arson in progress back at the end of 2017, using the address of what he apparently believed was one Call of Duty player intended as the focus of the ensuing police harassment, as provided by another player and played out live on Twitter. The address used, however, was for an unrelated person, father of two Andrew Finch, who was subsequently shot and killed by police after opening his door. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and extradited to Kansas, having tweeted an admission of guilt and being suspected of multiple other incidents, including a bomb threat; while in prison, he even tweeted out new threats.

And as for the other folks involved in the murder? The police officer who shot and killed Finch still won’t be charged. Finch’s family is still pursuing a civil suit. The other two Call of Duty players involved – Casey Viner, who the government alleges asked Barriss to make the swatting cal, and Shane Gaskill, who stands accused of providing the address – were charged in May on counts of wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice (apparently, they all tried to delete their tweets and/or wipe their phones), as well as a count of making a false report for Viner. The charges could lead to 20 years in prison apiece.

Reuters reported last week that both Gaskill and Viner, both still teenagers living with their parents, pleaded not guilty to the charges on Wednesday. A U.S. Attorney’s office spokesman told the publication that Barris himself will meet his own charges – including a manslaughter charge – in Kansas “before he faces an array of federal charges.”

Catch up on the whole sorry story:

Source: Reuters via Slashdot. Thanks, Sally.
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possum440 .

Quote:
“I’m confused on this too. Giving a fake address to a threatening harasser cannot actually be illegal, right? To give it the ol’ Straw-man argument: It’s like someone threatening to burglarize your house and you give them the address of someone across town you didn’t know. That how gets burglarized and you get charged for providing a false address so that they didn’t burglarize you. That’s a stretch for a DA to prosecute.”Endquote.

This quote from this type of person shows they simply do not understand the difference between right and wrong or the difference between consequence and actions made by an individual. It is amazing to read and see how these types of people simply not understand and are so clueless as to life.

It is these types of people that will one day be doing something years later and then out of the blue……..”Ohhhhh, I finally get it”.

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Sally Bowls

Shane Gaskill, who stands accused of providing the address

I could be wrong and IANAL, but the nuance from this was that Gaskill was the one being harassed online and he gave the harasser a false address. I am not sure if that is illegal.

I read it that he was being threatened with two decades of jail time for what occurred after the swatting, e.g. wiping of phones.

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Siphaed

I’m confused on this too. Giving a fake address to a threatening harasser cannot actually be illegal, right? To give it the ol’ Straw-man argument: It’s like someone threatening to burglarize your house and you give them the address of someone across town you didn’t know. That how gets burglarized and you get charged for providing a false address so that they didn’t burglarize you. That’s a stretch for a DA to prosecute.

As for wiping the phones, that depends entirely on when it occurred. Did they do it after the criminal charges against the other guy? After all the news about this happening? Because then it was knowledge of a criminal act and associated evidence against it. Destruction of evidence of a crime is itself a crime. HOWEVER if they did the deletion of the texts/Tweets before the event blew up, then it is minor to that and cannot possibly entail foresight to the criminal act.

The biggest issue is the context of the Tweets/texts. Was there written intent with the context that showed knowing participation in a criminal act (the filing of a false police report). If that is the case, they’d have them on two charges: assisting in filing a false police report/making false statements, and destruction of evidence.

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Sally Bowls

Yes, it was after the fact.

After media reports of the shooting, Gaskill urged Barriss to delete their communications and Viner wiped his phone, according to the indictment.

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Axetwin .

It is not illegal to give a false address. HOWEVER, you are responsible if something were to then happen to the residence or the inhabitants as a result of your actions. Hence why charge is “involuntary manslaughter”. They didn’t mean for it to happen, but they are responsible nonetheless.

Calling in a false police report is against the law. So, it doesn’t matter if the news “blew up” or if it stayed a small local story. Deleting the texts is considered obstruction. One could make the argument that deleting the texts as a solo act is one thing. But as soon as the “delete these texts” message went out, it became an obstruction everyone could be charged with as soon as they did it.

The “I didn’t know” defense only works for the wealthy and Hillary Clinton. The law doesn’t care if the rest of us know we are breaking the law or not. These boys ARE guilty of everything they’re be charged with.

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Bruno Brito

The police officer who shot and killed Finch still won’t be charged. Finch’s family is still pursuing a civil suit.

*slow clap*

I have great reasons to be anti-police.

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Siphaed

Being “anti-police” is misshaping what is really the problem. Anti-DA should be more representative of the issue at hand. In this case, it is up to multiple people to step in and charge the police officer in the shooting.

First and foremost is the District Attorney of that area. Secondly would be the State’s Attorney (most states hold the title District Attorney for the state prosecutor position as well). And finally the state’s Governor should have stepped in.

And even beyond those individuals actually exercising their job positions in proper authority to protect the citizens that have elected them, there’s one more step. The Federal Bureau of Investigation [FBI]. This was a government trained and employed individual who had basically murdered an unarmed citizen of The United States while acting out of fear. Someone with a bunch of weaponized gear that went into a CIVILIAN DOCILE and instead of assessing the situation, decided to use weaponized force for no reason other than to justify an unneeded presence.

This requires a Federal prosecution and an example to be made out of the current system.

UpayaBlossom
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UpayaBlossom

ACAB.

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Darthbawl

Nice to see two idiot teens fixing to enter adulthood getting a likely easy sentence being teenagers. /s

Way to be responsible members of the community. This whole SWATter mentality culture is simply ridiculous. How about using your brain and thinking before doing. “Oh, I didn’t know right from wrong…”

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A Dad Supreme

The problem is that “society” does not want to put people like this in jail for what they say is a prank gone wrong, so very few people will find the inevitable outcome outrageous.

You already have a certain Orange someone running around yelling “MS13! MS13!” every chance they get so people are focused on low-hanging fruit like that instead. No one is screaming “Lock pranksters up!”

Jail space is limited in the US with overcrowding so there is a preference to give jail time to people who are violent and deemed more ‘deserving’ of it.

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Siphaed

Space is limited due to the over half-century “war on drugs” that seems to imprison a parent giving a terminal cancer child THC oil instead of imprisoning actual criminals.

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A Dad Supreme

Yes, this is part of the reason.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

May on counts of wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy to obstruct justice (apparently, they all tried to delete their tweets and/or wipe their phones), as well as a count of making a false report for Viner. The charges could lead to 20 years in prison apiece.

These are pretty serious crimes and if you know anything about America, where imprisoning people is a profitable business, they will jail for years just for having a bag of Marijuana in your possession.

As for mentality, don’t be blinded to the fact that entitlement, peer pressures and a devolving culture of decency and upbringing don’t factor into young people ‘just not giving a fuck’ because this is how the adults act too.

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A Dad Supreme

Just the preliminary dances, nothing to pay attention to just yet. They’ll plead out later on because they are too young in age to want to spend at least over a decade in jail, which the authorities will threaten them with.

Also there will be the defense that jail should be for “violent criminals” not generally “good kids” who “make one stupid mistake”, and that will resonate with the court for obvious reasons. Of course that will make some people here upset, but I can’t see how anyone would not expect this to happen.

Additionally, considering that the vast majority of cases are plea bargained in the US (about 90%), I expect this to be resolved in the same manner for no more than five years, then some kind of probation for a few more.