Call of Duty swatter requests the minimum 20 to 25 year prison sentence

    
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The Call of Duty player whose 2017 swatting call resulted in an innocent man’s death is now facing sentencing in federal court, where he is seeking a sentence of 20 to 25 years in federal prison — the shortest term allowed by his plea deal.

To recap the story so far, in December of 2017, the player — California resident Tyler Barriss — made a false call to Wichita police in which he reported a shooting and kidnapping in progress at what he believed to be the address of a rival CoD player. The address was in fact that of 28-year-old father of two Andrew Finch, who was fatally shot by the police officer who responded to the call. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter — and subsequently with a number of additional charges, for a total of 51 — to which he pled guilty.

In his attempts to secure the shortest possible prison term, Barriss’s attorney “argued in a sentencing memorandum that Barriss never intended for anyone to get hurt and his conduct was an outgrowth of the culture within the gaming community.” Barriss’s sentence will be handed down Friday, after which he will face additional state charges in Kansas.

Further reading:

Source: Star Tribune
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Peregrine Falcon

So the little shit who made the phone call gets to spend 25 years with no video games. Meanwhile, the “hero” cop who actually shot the unarmed, innocent man didn’t even lose his job.

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Crowe

I wouldn’t call him a “hero” cop as much as someone who did what he was trained to do. (not arguing that maybe the training could be done better)

Hamblepants
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Hamblepants

The way police officers are told to do their jobs is one of the main problems.

If it was only “rogue” cops doing the complete opposite of what their peers and bosses want, this problem would be much smaller.

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Darthbawl

Came in here expecting some comments to be Carolina Reaper spicy. 😲Was not wrong. The sheer # of charges, this d-canoe needs a wee bit [read a lot] more North of 20 yrs.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

If you haven’t read all about what this guy did, you should. Something of note:

“After learning of the first bomb threat, Gregory had confronted Barriss, who readily confessed to the crime. But he’d warned his grandmother not to snitch: If she did, he said, he’d beat her face into a bloody mess and then blow up their house. Gregory knew from experience that her volatile grandson might well make good on his promise.”

When you read about the other stuff this guy had been doing all this time, all his bomb threats and swatting calls he made up until then, what a violent psychopath with no remorse he was, the violent threats to his own Grandmother, this stuff really makes you hope he gets more time in prison than what he is requesting. There is a reason there are so many charges being brought against him, it isn’t just this one situation.

You know how you think some things are terrible and shouldn’t happen at all, like prison rape, but then think that there are people who deserve more than just to be put in prison and hope that the things you normally wish didn’t exist end up happening to them? Yeah, this guy fits that situation for me. Prison rape shouldn’t exist, those in the authority should make sure it doesn’t happen, but since it does exist I hope this guy ends up being the butt of it.

Seriously if you read all the info about this guy, how much he did, how terrible of a person he is, you hope for the maximum and not the minimum.

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Armsbend

I really wish prison rape, or the thought of it, would stop becoming a norm.

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Peregrine Falcon

The authorities could put a stop to it if they wanted to. It almost always happens to men though so it’s not a priority.

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Utakata

…more like convicted felons, so the view is likely they are deserving what they got. They should just take it. And this world is much, much more a horrible place because of that. /bleh

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Crowe

I’d prefer the concept be replaced with an all new version: “intramural conjugal consenting visits”

Vexia
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Vexia

Committing domestic violence and abuse really are huge red flags for causing all kinds of additional pain out in the wider world.

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Bruno Brito

who was fatally shot by the police officer who responded to the call.

I want to know if this imbecile right here will get arrested, or if the US justice system will prove once and for all that cops are above the law.

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Mewmew

No offense or anything but is this the first you’ve read about this incident? This is an update for something that happened in 2017, but your reply sounds as if you haven’t read any of the previous information on this.

This was a far different case than a cop doing what they wanted and being above the law. While the Police should have taken more time to verify what was happening, they thought they were going into a Murder, Hostage, Arson situation because of the report they got from the guy about to hopefully get passed around in prison.

He convinced the Police that he had just shot his Dad, and he was holding his Mother and Brother hostage tied up in the closet, wanted to kill them and light the house on fire.

Patrolmen who weren’t really trained to deal with such situations were near the house he said he was calling from. They were nervous, they thought this terrible thing was going on where they had two people held hostage that they needed to save. They thought the guy who stepped out on the porch was a murderer about to finish off the rest of his family. The phone call had said he had a gun and that he was getting ready to burn the house down as well. This is the situation they thought they were going into.

Sadly when the innocent victim of this call stepped on to the porch and they told him to raise his hands, he did at first, but then he lowered one of his hands towards his waist. We don’t know why he was reaching towards his waist, since we know he wasn’t actually in the midst of committing a horrible series of crimes as they thought he was and he didn’t have any weapons, but considering the situation they thought was happening and that he reached his hand down suddenly towards his waist, an Officer made the wrong decision in thinking he was reaching towards a weapon.

The guy was overwhelmed and confused, he knew he didn’t do anything, he made a wrong choice in that confusion and the lights in his face to reach down towards his waist after they told him to keep his hands up.

It was a horrible mistake on the part of the Officer who made the split second decision to shoot, but to make out as if it was the typical officer over reaction or hubris that has happened many other times doesn’t fit this situation.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

It’s not the first time he’s read it, no – this is the eighth time we’ve covered it (links above) and Bruno has been right there commenting all along. A lot of folks don’t buy the police account of what happened that night, nor think the police were justified in their use of force here, and Bruno’s far from the only person who thinks captain trigger happy should be held partly accountable, as should the person who ordered the massive response team in on no evidence but an exceedingly dodgy phone call that didn’t even jibe with the scene when they got there.

The victim’s family’s civil suit against the police is still ongoing too as of this past December.

I highly recommend the long discussions we all had in the thread from when the prosecutor decided not to press charges. This thread has a good debate too.

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psytic

I agree “reaching for his waist” does sound pretty convenient to me. They probably thought that one up at the station afterwards.

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Bruno Brito

^ Pretty much this. If i well recall the statements, this guy was pretty well trained. There wasn’t a reason for him to shoot…unless he wasn’t that well trained and that’s a whole new issue.

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Peregrine Falcon

Unfortunately, this is what happens when society worships cops and constantly calls them heroes. They end up feeling they can get away with anything, and they can.

This isn’t the first unarmed civilian, with his hands in the air, whom the police have gunned down. It won’t be the last. How many more of us do they get to murder before we stop worshiping them as heroes?

PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

25 years for involuntary manslaughter? Shit, I’ve seen actual murders get less than that. What a fucked up system.

I hope to god that cop gets sued for everything he has.

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Armsbend

I’m not an attorney like the guy down below but the maximum federal sentencing for fed. invol manslaughter is 15 years (according to my googlefu below). I assume the other 50 charges is what is adding this up.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1112

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

That’s definitely what has increased the time. Very happy to see such a disturbed individual off the streets/intertubes for decades!

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3dom

“never intended for anyone to get hurt” – it’s the same as killing people while DUI.

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Armsbend

It’s a little different. One is sending a bunch of hopped up, semi-well trained guys with guns to a persons house and one is falling asleep at the wheel to Chris Cross’s ‘Sailing’ after another bar reject.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

51 charges. GTFO. Life without parole. Deserves no less.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

“his conduct was an outgrowth of the culture within the gaming community”

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Dantos
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Dantos

So his excuse boils down to “everyone else was doing it”?

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I guess he’s gotta use whatever excuse he can. Gamers aren’t deciding his sentence, after all. We’d be harsher than the judge will be.

xpsync
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xpsync

Hell Yeah!

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Armsbend

“My friend xXxGoku69xXx killed a guy once.”
“He didn’t?”
“Oh”
“Well he said he was gunna one time.”

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rafael12104

Very true. Give us a crack at that and he’d not only never see, touch or feel anything electronic again, but he might have to do without some creature comforts like sunlight.

I think that when the judge reads all the charges and the previous offenses he won’t give it a second thought. Barriss is an outgrowth in and of himself.

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Utakata

I’m swatting your fridge, Mr. Bree for your strawberry ice cream now! See what 14 years of playing WoW did to me? /rolls eyes and pigtails

…no, Mr. Barriss…you are the only out most gamers who did this, twice…to my understanding. L2Own it. Thnkx!

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Schmidt.Capela

He isn’t the only one, unfortunately.

The fact others previously did what he did doesn’t render it any less serious, though. People have been killing each other since the dawn of time — the Bible itself says that the first human born of another human was a murderer — but that doesn’t make murder any less serious.

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Utakata

To be clear, I did say out of most players and not all. Take that as a rare occurrence and thankfully. >.<

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Utakata

Edit/Erratum: Ms.* Bree…proper.

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Dobablo

Too late. You have now established the lore. Somewhere in the world is a Mr and Mrs Bree with His and Hers fridges to establish custody of the flavoured ice-creams.

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Utakata

…or at least an auto-correct did. :(

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Dobablo

What is the jurisdiction and do they have joint enterprise laws there? I am a little concerned that the judge will decide to extend his sentencing to the notorious “Gamers” gang.

xpsync
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xpsync

Thank social media.

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Bryan Correll

Don’t blame the attorney. Idiotic defenses are just an outgrowth of the culture within the lawyering community.

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

Hi, attorney here! We still have to make good faith / non-frivolous arguments. Important distinction: weak argument (this is an outgrowth of gamer culture) vs. false argument (someone else did it).

That being said, I’m fine with locking him up for at least 25 years.

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Bryan Correll

IANAL, but as a layperson I find it hard to believe that this was genuinely a “good faith” argument, which to me means that the lawyer in question would have to actual consider the argument plausible.
I’m not hating on all lawyers, but this is basically a version of the “twinkie defense.*”

*Yes, I know that in that case the attorneys involved did not actually blame twinkie consumption (or even mention twinkies) but were saying that Dan White’s recent change to a junk-food heavy diet was a symptom of his underlying mental state. The term was actually termed by a reporter (another occupation whose bad-actors tend to give the whole profession a bad name.)

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

I like lawyers. A lot. Lawyer-hate/lawyer-jokes legit get on my nerves. Lawyers are the last line of defense, people. But it’s still an obnoxious argument. :D

Aldristavan
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Aldristavan

It’s like I always say, Bree: you hate ’em until you need one!

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Schmidt.Capela

One of the hallmarks of civilization is that everyone deserves a fair trial, no matter how gruesome their crimes, which means a lawyer needs to be available to properly defend them; I’m not sure about the US, but where I live a criminal trial where the defendant isn’t assisted by a lawyer is rendered void. The public is often incapable of understanding that fact, of understanding that even the worst criminals have rights and that the lawyer is just performing a necessary function in the judgement, which causes their dislike of the criminal to unjustly contaminate their opinion about the lawyer.

Besides that, what is moral and what is legal are often at odds, meaning even a lawyer that draws their absolute red line at never helping circumvent the law might do a lot of things that in the eyes of laypersons are at least morally questionable. And there are also some scummy lawyers, the kind that help crooks get away with things that are (or should be) illegal knowing fully well the consequences of enabling those crooks and grifters to act.

So, there’s just no way to prevent many lawyers from getting a bad reputation. Since you only need a few noteworthy lawyers with a very bad reputation, deserved or not, to tarnish the reputation of the whole profession, this make lawyers as a whole having a somewhat negative image nearly inevitable.

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Armsbend

In the US you have the right to an attorney – but you can also turn one down. It isn’t done often and it is always considered a bad idea.

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Bryan Correll

Judge’s must also determine whether or not someone is competent enough to represent themselves before a request for self-representation is granted.

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Bruno Brito

It’s a terrible idea. It requires a lot of handholding, it slows things down, etc etc.

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Bruno Brito

Daddy is a lawyer so…it’s kinda a love-hate thing for me.

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rafael12104

My apologies but this is a trigger for me.

“Barriss never intended for anyone to get hurt and his conduct was an outgrowth of the culture within the gaming community.”

Heh! Fuck off, dude.

Let’s parse that a little. Intent has nothing to do with it. Somebody died and Barriss’ repeated (let’s not forget its not his first SWAT) reckless disregard for the law and the outcome was the proximate cause. That’s manslaughter, period.

As for blaming the culture within the gaming community? LOL! This is Federal court, not some elected backwoods precinct. Nope. The judge will see right through the “outgrowth” right at Barriss.

He should get the max and be the poster child for what happens to SWATTERs. And with the Feds there is no parole.

And good riddance.

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Eliandal

Agreed! I actually felt anger when I read that! I’ve been gaming since before that little piece of DOO was even born, and there is NO such culture

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kgptzac

The ESA should make a statement to name and shame the lawyer who came up with that bullshit excuse. “The gaming community” has never encouraged the swatting behavior, and I highly doubt swatting is commonplace in any gaming circle.

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A Dad Supreme

That face when the shortest amount of time you hope you have to serve is 20-25 years…

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rafael12104

Fed time too. No parole.

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Armsbend

He’ll be older than I am right now when he gets out. Think of all that will have changed.

I know one thing that won’t have changed. The kids of the guy that died because of him will always have an empty hole in their hearts.

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Eliandal

Maybe when he gets out, we’ll have stopped blaming gaming for sick psychopaths!

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Armsbend

This guy blamed it on himself and gaming it seems.