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Accused Serial Swatter Pleads Guilty to 51 Charges, Faces 20 to 25 Years in Prison

A California man accused of calling in a “swatting” request that led to the fatal police shooting of a Kansas resident plead guilty this week. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for between 20 and 25 years, if the judge accepts it. He previously plead not guilty in Kansas, AP reports.

The plea agreement includes 51 charges, including federal crimes, filed in California and the District of Columbia related to the fake calls Barriss made and threats that were made.

The dispute, involving 26-year-old Tyler R. Barriss, sprang from an altercation between two “Call of Duty: WWII” players and a meager $1.50 bet. Barriss is being charged alongside co-conspirators Casey Viner, 18, of Ohio, and Shane Gaskill, 20, of Wichita. Viner and Gaskill plead guilty to charges including wire fraud, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and various other counts and are awaiting trial on Jan. 8 in the U.S. District Court in Wichita.

Barriss admitted to making a false report, which ultimately resulted in the death of the Wichita man, Andrew Finch, who was 28 years old. When Viner allegedly grew upset with Gaskill while the pair were playing “Call of Duty: WWII” online, Viner reportedly asked Barriss to “swat” Gaskill at a previously-provided address. Swatting is the practice of calling in fake police reports to send police (sometimes SWAT) to unsuspecting players’ houses.

Barriss apparently researched the address provided to him and ensured it was a home, but it turned out to be an old address where someone else lived. Police officers responded to the call, and one fatally shot the resident, Andrew Finch, when he opened the door.

Sentencing is currently set for Jan. 30 following a separate trial for Barriss, which is scheduled for Jan. 7. It will take place in Sedgwick County District Court on the rounds of state charges of involuntary manslaughter, interference with a law enforcement officer, and giving false alarm.

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