Gamer involved in CSGO swatting murder gets 15 months in prison and a two-year gaming ban

    
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This past August, we followed up on efforts in Wichita, Kansas, to stop swatting after one such CSGO-related “prank” saw 28-year-old Andrew Finch killed by police in 2017. At the time of that writing, the person who initially requested the swat attempt, 19-year-old Casey Viner, had put in a plea of “not guilty” but was potentially changing that plea. We now have a current update on Viner’s fate, which ultimately sees him facing jail time.

According to a report from NBC News, Viner had indeed changed to a guilty plea in April as part of a deal that recommended a sentence that included two years’ probation, six months of home confinement, and two years of restriction from gaming. The District Judge hearing the case ultimately sentenced Viner to 15 months of prison time as well as the two-year gaming ban.

The report also mentions that Shane Gaskill, who provided the Wichita address, has struck a deal for deferred prosecution that could see charges against him dropped, while the family of Finch is still pursuing a lawsuit against Wichita police for his murder. Tyler Barriss, who actually called in the swatting itself, was sentenced to 20 years in prison earlier this year.

Further reading:

source: NBC News via IGN

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Robert Mann

Sadly we have multiple issues with this one, and in this case we have a youth who seems more or less mentally a child (lack of thought on the matter at hand) with a situation that leaves them with a ruined life. Where I am all for fixing these issues, I also find that we as a society have failed our young men and women here. We haven’t tackled the culture that produced such actions as “the cool thing to do”. It is as much the fault of our nation as a whole, as it is one very stupid youth thinking that real harm won’t come of such actions. We must change this.

Those saying that justice requires the police officer to serve time, and those stating it will never happen, are technically correct. That too is tragic, because in this case it is pretty cut and dry that the officer had no justification for their actions. There were multiple clues that something didn’t add up, and they did not serve with honor or intellect. This too must change.

It won’t happen under the status quo. I won’t say never, because the trend is toward removing the current power centers, and changes to government making things better for the populace rather than making them more abused… but without that change I agree. So, again, this too must change.

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Bruno Brito

Those saying that justice requires the police officer to serve time, and those stating it will never happen, are technically correct.

Me and Bree follow a lawyer on tweet: Popehat.

It was the only following i needed to be reminded EVERY DAY how sucky the law enforcement is around the globe, but mostly on america. Every single day there’s some news about something a officer did which was then neglected and the officer walks free.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, there’s a lot of wrongs out there. It needs fixed badly.

Popehat has some good, but I also dislike some of what Popehat goes into. To me, Popehat is a little too… convinced that the only reason that police shoot anyone is a bad cop. I believe that is as large a problem in our society as the lack of courts dealing with the police on equal footing.

In short, I think our system and society is all messed up around this topic, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon (especially since education and social constructs must change for it to happen).

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Ashfyn Ninegold

With the exception of Barriss, who seems to be a professional dickhead, and received a 20 year federal sentence (no parole from the feds), these were kids doing dumb-shit, homone-hyped revenge. This is really just a very sad, very tragic thing to have happened.

The thing that strikes me is how even the prosecutor didn’t want a jail sentence for him. This happened two years ago, so he was 17 at the time. I suspect he’s done a lot of uncomfortable growing up in the last two years.

I can’t help but reflect on how different things are today than they were for my generation. People I grew up with were mostly married by 19, as I was; had their own places and worked full-time jobs. We couldn’t afford a car; my husband rode a bicycle to work every day through the oil fields in the small Southern California town we lived in.

But then, we were the Vietnam generation. We saw our friends drafted and sent off to war only to come home mangled so thoroughly, so unrecognizably, that the fear of that war penetrated our lives entire. That looming war and the threat of extinction hung over us from the time we were sophomores in high school until we graduated and saw who got scooped up. We were dead serious about it because some of us were already dead from it.

In comparison to what I remember my teen years being, this fixation on out-sized revenge for petty grievances just seems so young. This boy had so much and wasted it foolishly. Well, he’s going off to a war of his own making now and that’s a pity.

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Peregrine Falcon

Justice will never truly been done in this case until the police officer who fired the shot that killed the unarmed civilian, who had his hands in the air, is sitting in a prison cell too.

Of course we all know that will never happen.

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François Verret

Nice slap on the wrist.

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Mewmew

Well it is the guy who asked for the Swatting to happen, not the guy who actually called it in. I’m not saying he shouldn’t have got more (in fact, he should have got more), but the guy who did the actual call is in prison for 20 years (though for more reasons than just that one call).

This guy was a 19 year old who claims he didn’t expect anything to really happen.
That’s definitely not an excuse or anything but he did seem remorseful and not like the same type of person as the guy who made the calls.

If he has any kind of conscience, I hope this haunts him for the rest of his life too. That’s clearly not good enough, but I hope it’s an added effect.

If you look at pictures of this guy here, I don’t know what jail he’ll be going to – but he’s got the kind of young kid face and look that you wouldn’t think would be doing too well in jail. It depends what jail he is going to but he could end up with a pretty difficult 15 months there. And he should.

One big reason he should have got more than 15 months would be to make an example out of him. People need to be more scared to have any involvement in this at all. The first people sentenced in this kind of stuff should have got longer sentences to show what will happen if you are involved in this.

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Robert Mann

Sadly, that’s not all. This 19 year old kid will be 20 something when he gets out, with a felony conviction on record. Because of that, he will have almost zero chance at a decent job for the rest of his life.

All while seeming to just be a stupid child who didn’t think people would actually do things, and didn’t think that any real harm would result.

I’m all for working to fix the idiocy around the practice, but we desperately need reforms to deal with such cases and not ruin the entire future of youth that are just young and stupid. All that our current policy does is ensure they struggle, pushing them toward desperation with regard to fiscal matters. …not that the rest of us exactly have a great deal with fiscal matters in this nation right now, but that’s a different problem with different solutions.

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François Verret

I should have read more closely. Twenty years is a decent sentence for the swatter. This young man bears some of the responsibility; I’m not sure if jail is the answer, but there needs to be examples, as you say, until kids (and supposedly grown men) finally realize how dangerous this practice is.

Swatting was the topic of a podcast question last week, I think. In my mind, much of the solution lies in education. It belongs in the same category as cyber-bullying. It requires action on a national level, which I doubt will happen, and even if it did change would be slow to happen.

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Bruno Brito

I’ll only accept this shit being fully resolved when the man who shoot a father is on jail too.

Ernost
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Ernost

He’s a cop, that will never happen. They are above the law.

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Bruno Brito

I’m aware.

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NeoWolf

15 months for a life.. nice to know the Justice system values us so HIGHLY.. makes me sick.

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Robert Mann

15 months and a ruined life that will never allow anything but the lowest and nastiest jobs… for being a stupid kid that believed that people wouldn’t actually harm others or call for a swatting. Not so sure that’s just, it is likely overkill for just being a stupid, naïve little brat.

20 years and the same results after for the moron who called it in (which is quite just).

Nothing for the officer who shot with multiple clues that the situation did not add up. Nothing about fixing the society that made being a raging edgelord with social hemorrhoids ‘popular’ and ‘cool’. Nothing about changing the government that has failed to care about these situations because they are too busy pushing fear on voters with issues that are generally minor in comparison via raised emotions.

Yeah, our justice system has problems, but in this particular case I’d say it is with over-punishment especially after the sentence… because this was just an idiot who does not seem to have had real malice and now (probably) knows better.

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NeoWolf

I’ve made my stance in relation to the officer’s role in this clear in the two previous articles on this on MOP there is little point in repeating it a third time here, but suffice it to say I do not agree and that’s okay we can have differing views and the world will still turn lol ;)

As to the “stupid kid’s” 15 months being overkill to you.. all I can say is wow.. he was not a child he was a teenager and DEFINITELY old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. That he thought it would be funny to approach a guy who was well known to have “sold” his services to swat people and make hoax calls/bomb threats etc. because he was so prolific was not a lapse in judgement it was an intentional decision and one which if indeed was just a momentary slip he could have gone out of his way to stop at ANY time before the swatting occurred and he did not. That shows “intent”.
His actions led to a man dying a wife having no husband, parents having no son etc.., a slap on the wrist and a gaming ban do not cut it.

What you are saying is a little like saying a person who say hires a hitman to kill their spouse should not be held accountable because it’s just a lapse in judgement and afterall its not them who actually did the killing as if that somehow makes it okay and excusable. It isn’t and it shouldn’t be. He instigated the ENTIRE situation everything that followed was on him. Laying the blame entirely at Bariss’s feet alone rather than as well as is a miscarriage of justice, because he was only in the picture AT ALL because of Viner. HE is the reason a man is dead and over what.. a stupid argument in Call of Duty..

These are the morons who are going to be running the country for the next generation do you feel safe, because I sure as hell don’t. They are an evolutionary step backward.

Not that it matters what any of us think, the decision has been made, the ruling done it is what it is. But nevertheless as far as I am concerned what it is is a travesty of justice with ZERO accountability for his actions.

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Robert Mann

Yeah, we def. don’t agree on the officer then.

As to the “Stupid kid” part, I find (and found when I was that age) most teenagers are still there mentally. There’s a huge problem with “Won’t happen” in our society, and we don’t do near enough to teach otherwise. That doesn’t exonerate, but it should be something we all look at. Moreover, it was not so much the 15 months that I have an issue with, but rather what happens after. I believe that the lesson learned with that time is important, but the issues post release will not only merely make this person bitter… they will lead toward further crime as one of a very few paths toward any ‘success’. That’s the point I was aiming for with it all.

Too hard a line only makes everyone suffer, just like too soft a line only allows everyone to trample each other.

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NeoWolf

And too weak a line teaches him nothing other than he can do what he wants even get someone killed and there is no comeback. He should have been made an example of then maybe these young morons would think twice before Swatting ANYONE..

Accountability should be the first lesson any kid learns. Actions have consequences, therefore “think” before you act, but really how many kids do? And that is because they no there is practically zero comebacks when they do. And this is a perfect example of that.

Let’s not forget this kid didn’t just commit some misdemeanour his actions led to a man dying. There has to be punishment for that and this is not punishment 15 months and a 2-year gaming ban is a farce imo.

Not as I say that it matters it’s done now and its a travesty.

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Angel

I’m curious as to how they plan to enforce the gaming ban.

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Arnold Hendrick

I expect the judge will wave his hard and say, “Make it so.” The underfunded and understaffed parole system will decide that calling once a month and asking, “You’re not playing any computer games, right?” will be sufficient. In other words, it will be not unlike enforcement of “don’t drink and drive” rules for people who killed or crippled someone while driving drunk.

In other words, I expect that ban will not have teeth until the perp breaks the law again, it’s gaming related, and a zealous prosecutor decides to hire experts to decode ISP data and discover that (surprise!) he’s been violating the ban.

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Angel

You’re probably right because any other means they might consider could probably be challenged on the grounds of being unconstitutional.

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Robert Mann

We have precedent for monitoring as Constitutional, but the likely truth is that both costs and feasibility with nothing in place to preclude access means that it will be a toothless proposition.

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Angel

You’re likely correct about that.

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Arnold Hendrick

Justice may be late to arrive, but it’s nice to see that it does happen. Upping the original deal to 15 months behind bars (for the instigator), not to mention 20 years behind bars (for the “expert” who made actual call for the instigator) doesn’t restore the life of an uninvolved, innocent victim. However, it may help stop this despicable practice.

We can also hope that it also helps SWAT teams remember they might be pawns in a larger game.

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Nathan Aldana

I severely doubt it,

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Robert Mann

Most of the people on SWAT teams, yes. The people who are going to fire, the government that is going to try to avoid blame and push responsibility upon everyone else while fixing nothing… no.

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Fisty

Put the gung-ho cops ready to shoot anyone for any reason in jail.