A 19-year-old who plotted to have a fellow gamer's house "swatted" over an argument that stemmed from the video game Call of Duty: WWII — resulting in a man's death — was sentenced to 15 months in prison Friday.
Casey Viner of North College Hill, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiring to make fake calls to Wichita police in 2017, prompting officers to think they were dealing with a man who had shot his father.
Viner, prosecutors said, wanted armed police officers to respond to the home of Shane Gaskill, 20, because the two had argued over the video game and a $1.50 wager.
But Gaskill gave Viner the wrong address, and police responded to the home of an unrelated man, Andrew Finch. Fearing he was armed, officers shot and killed him.
After pleading guilty, Viner admitted he tried to hide his role in the deadly plot when he realized someone had been killed.
The deadly consequence of the call drew national attention to the "swatting," in which people try to send armed police officers to a home, giving them false information that would make them assume they are responding to a violent and possibly dangerous crime scene.
Prosecutors in the case filed charges against Viner and Tyler Barriss, who helped make the actual call. Barriss, a 26-year-old from Los Angeles, was sentenced in March to 20 years in prison.
According to court records, Viner and Gaskill were teammates in Call of Duty: WWII; when the two began to argue, Gaskill shot and killed Viner's character in the game.
Viner threatened Gaskill on Twitter, court documents show, and Barriss attempted to confirm Gaskill’s address. The two chatted over Twitter DMs, and Gaskill taunted Barriss and dared him to go through with it.
Gaskill also told Viner to "please try some shit."
Barriss then gave police an address he believed to be Gaskill’s home. However, Gaskill had given the gamers the wrong address, leading to the fatal shooting.
Prosecutors declined to file charges against the officer who shot Finch in 2017. A lawsuit filed by Finch's family against the city of Wichita is still pending.
Gaskill has made a deal with prosecutors for "deferred prosecution," which could lead to his charges being dropped, the Associated Press reported.
As part of his conviction, Viner was also restricted from playing games online for two years.