One of three people charged over the December 2017 “swatting” death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch has entered a guilty plea.
Tyler Barriss was indicted in May, along with Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, over a prank call to Wichita, Kansas police. As a result, on December 28, the cops shot and killed Finch outside his home.
The cause of the dispute? A couple of $1.50 bets on an online game of Call of Duty World War II, which started an argument between Viner and Gaskill. Viner threatened to swat Gaskill, who dared him to go through with it, but gave an address he no longer lived at.
Finch had the bad fortune to occupy that address with his family – and had nothing to do with the CoD WWII bet that cost him his life.
Viner then talked Barriss into placing the call to police, and as we reported in May, Barriss claimed he had shot his father and was holding his mother and brother hostage.
Trio indicted after police SWAT prank call leads to cops killing bloke
When police surrounded Finch’s home, he didn’t know about the swatting call, and hadn’t done anything wrong – so he went outside when they surrounded his home. He was shot and killed when he unexpectedly dropped his hands after being told to put them up.
Announcing the guilty plea, US attorney Stephen McAllister said the crime could send Finch to jail for 20 years.
McAllister said: “Without ever stepping foot in Wichita, the defendant created a chaotic situation that quickly turned from dangerous to deadly. “His reasons were trivial and his disregard for the safety of other people was staggering.”
As well as the Wichita case (which involved three of the counts he was charged with), Barriss entered guilty pleas to a staggering 46 counts brought by the Middle District of California, over false bomb threats all over the USA, and in the District of Colombia for making false bomb threats against the FBI and the FCC.
Barriss will be sentenced on January 30, 2018, while Viner and Gaskill are still awaiting trial. ®