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Ohio gamer pleads guilty in deadly Kansas 'swatting' case

Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 2:56 PM CDT
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An Ohio gamer has pleaded guilty to asking a prankster to make a

Nineteen-year-old Casey Viner of North College Hill, Ohio, changed his plea Wednesday to guilty on charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He's accused of trying to hide his involvement. Sentencing for Viner has been scheduled for June 26.

Viner became upset while playing Call of Duty: WWII online with 20-year-old Shane Gaskill of Wichita. Prosecutors say Viner then asked Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles to "swat" Gaskill. Police responding to the call shot the unarmed man, Andrew Finch, when he came to the door.

Swatting is sometimes used by gamers to send first responders to an opponent's address.

Barriss was sentenced last week to 20 years. Gaskill's trial is April 23.

The government says it will recommend two years' probation as a sentence for Viner. In court Wednesday, he agreed he did a factory reset on his phone to try to delete any evidence he was involved in the swatting.

Part of Viner's plea agreement is not to play any online games and not to go anywhere other than school, work or church. A judge would ultimately make the call regarding the conditions of Viner's probation.

Eyewitness News spoke with U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister after Wednesday's hearing and said there's a big difference between Barriss and Viner. McAllister says Barriss is a serial swatter while Viner made a bad choice one time.

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