An Ohio gamer gets prison time over a 'swatting' call that led to a man's death

In this file photo, Casey Viner leaves federal court in Wichita, Kansas, on April 3.

(CNN)An Ohio video gamer who played a role in a hoax phone call that led police to kill a man in Kansas was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison, authorities said.

Casey S. Viner, 19, was one of three defendants in a case of "swatting" -- making a false report to send police somewhere -- that led Wichita police to erroneously shoot and kill 28-year-old Andrew Finch at his front door in December 2017.
Authorities said Viner asked one of the co-defendants to make the call because of an argument over an online video game -- an argument that turned out not even to have involved Finch.
    Viner, of a Cincinnati suburb, was sentenced in federal court in Wichita after pleading guilty to one count each of conspiracy and obstructing justice, the US attorney's office for Kansas said.
    "Swatting is not a prank, and it is no way to resolve disputes among gamers," US Attorney Stephen McAllister said. "Once again, I call upon gamers to self-police their community to ensure that the practice of swatting is ended once and for all."
    The man who made the call, Tyler Raj Barriss of California, was sentenced earlier this year to 20 years in federal prison.

    An argument about a game led to the call

    Viner admitted that he had argued with the third co-defendant -- a gamer in Wichita -- over a multiplayer session of "Call of Duty: WWII," authorities said.
    Tyler Barriss.
    Viner was upset because the Wichita gamer, a teammate of his during the session, killed his in-game character, according to a police affidavit.
    During their argument, Viner threatened to swat the teammate -- and the teammate responded by providing an address and saying, "Please try some s--t," the affidavit says.
    Viner then enlisted Barriss to swat the Wichita gamer, using the address that had been provided, authorities said.
    The address, it turned out, was not where the Wichita gamer currently lived, but where he used to live, authorities said. Actually living at the address was Fincher, unaware of what was happening.

    How the call and the shooting unfolded

    On the evening of December 28, 2017, a 911 caller told a dispatcher in Kansas' Sedgwick County of a shooting and possible hostage situation at Finch's address, police said.
    Andrew Finch.