51 federal charges in total
11 months ago, Witchita, Kansas resident Andrew Finch was shot and killed by police who were at his house reporting to a call of a hostage situation. The call turned out to be a case of swatting, and the alleged perpetrator behind the act, Tyler Barriss, was soon arrested in Southern California. After being charged this past May with involuntary manslaughter, Barriss this week pleaded guilty to the crime as well as 50 other federal counts he was facing in Kansas, California and with the government at large.
After he previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas, Barriss admitted to making the phone call that resulted in Finch’s death, telling police a man was in the house who had killed his father and was holding his family hostage. As part of his plea bargain with federal prosecutors, Barriss could face anywhere from 20 to 25 years in prison. Sentencing will take place on January 30, 2019.
His two co-conspirators in the case, 18-year-old Casey Viner and 20-year-old Shane Gaskill, are set to go to trial starting on January 8. The two have pleaded not guilty to charges that include wire fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice. As we reported last year, the tragedy of Finch’s death started over a game of Call of Duty. According to authorities, Viner asked Barriss to swat Gaskill using a former address of his.
Barriss’s legal troubles aren’t over yet. He still faces state charges, including involuntary manslaughter, and will go to trial for those in January.
Man pleads guilty in hoax “SWATting” call that turned deadly [CBS News]
Swatter Tyler Barriss guilty of 51 federal charges [The Wichita Eagle]
California Man Pleads Guilty in Deadly Wichita Swatting Case [justice.gov]