Ohio gamer sentenced in deadly swatting case

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A judge sentences a 19-year-old Ohio man to 15 months in federal prison in connection with a December 2017 deadly swatting case in Wichita.

Casey Viner, a gamer from North College Hill, Ohio pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and one count of obstructing justice. In addition to his prison sentence, the judge ordered Viner to pay $2,500 in restitution.

In his plea, Viner admitted to arguing with co-defendant Shane Gaskill, of Wichita, while playing Call of Duty World War II online. Viner contacted co-defendant Tyler Barriss and asked him to swat Gaskill. Viner thought Gaskill lived at an address on West McCormick Street in Wichita and Barriss called police, reporting a hostage situation at the McCormick address.

"Police responded, believing they were dealing with a man who had shot his own father and was holding family members hostage," the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

On the call, Andrew Finch, who did live at the McCormick address, died in an officer-involved shooting.

Finch didn't know why police were at his house when he stepped out onto the porch.

"When Finch made a move that startled officers, he was shot and killed," the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

A judge sentenced Barriss to 20 year in federal prison. Barriss, from California, pleaded guilty to more than 50 felonies nationwide connected with making false reports to police. This includes federal charges in Kansas of making an interstate hoax that resulted in a death and cyberstalking.

"Gaskill was placed on deferred prosecution," the U.S. Attorney's Office says.

“Swatting, and soliciting others to swat someone, are more than foolish,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister says. “Such actions are reckless, dangerous and, as this case proves, potentially tragic. Swatting is not a prank, and it is no way to resolve disputes among gamers. Once again, I call upon gamers to self-police their community to ensure that the practice of swatting is ended once and for all.”