Infamous Swatter Sentenced to 20 Years In Prison

This Friday California resident Tyler R. Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison for making [...]


This Friday California resident Tyler R. Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison for making numerous false emergency calls to authorities across the United States, including one call that led police to fatally shooting an innocent Kansas man after a dispute over Call of Duty: WWII. As you may remember, Barriss was arrested back in January of last year, but it's only now that he has been sentenced to two decades in federal prison.

The decision was carried out by U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren after Barriss, 26, struck a deal that saw the California man plead guilty to a total of 51 federal charges for his various fake calls and threats.

As you will know, making fake emergency calls as a means of retaliation is referred to as swatting, and it's unfortunately somewhat common. Barriss' case drew national attention when one of his swattings resulted in the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch. According to authorities, Barriss was recruited by an Ohio gamer to swat another Kansas-based gamer, but the address Barriss used was old, leading police to Finch, who was never even involved in the video game dispute.

Eventually, Barriss admitted to authorities he was the one who called in the swatting on December 28, 2017, where he claimed there was a shooting and a kidnapping. When Finch answered the door, unarmed, he was fatally shot. Barriss was originally facing 25 years of prison, but was able to strike a deal to get the sentence down to 20.

As mentioned earlier, the intended target was never meant to be Finch, but Shane Gaskill, a 20-year-old resident of Wichita. Gaskill and the aforementioned Ohio gamer, Casey Viner, have been charged as co-conspirators. According to authorities, Viner was the one who provided the address to Barriss, which he obtained from Gaskill previously. Gaskill had noticed Barriss started to follow him on Twitter, which prompted him to give out the old address and taunt Barriss by saying, "try something."

Viner and Gaskill have both pleaded not guilty, with their cases still ongoing. Meanwhile, Finch's family has sued the city of Wichita and the the officers involved in the case. According to Police, the officer who shot Finch believed he was reaching for a gun when Finch moved his hand toward his waistband. The officer was not charged.

As for Barriss, he has expressed deep regret over the incident, noting he thinks about Finch's death everyday.

Thanks, AP.


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