Kansas City Criminal Defense Lawyers
Swatting in Kansas

Swatting in Kansas

In December 2017, a 28-year-old Kansas man named Andrew Finch was shot and killed at his home by Wichita police after a hoax emergency call was made from Los Angeles by 26-year-old California man named Tyler R. Barriss. Law enforcement initially assumed Finch was a perpetrator in a shooting and kidnapping situation but was actually the victim of the crime known as “swatting.”

Swatting means making a prank call to emergency services to try to compel the police to send armed officers to a specific address.

In March 2019, Barriss was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment after pleading guilty to 51 federal charges. Before the incident, he was recruited by 19-year-old Casey Viner, an Ohio gamer to “swat” a Wichita gamer and provided an old address. Finch was not involved in the dispute involving two gamers over a $1.50 bet in the video game Call of Duty: WWII.

Viner pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The plea deal recommends two years of probation, along with a provision prohibits the Ohio man from playing online games for two years.

In the aftermath of Finch’s death, Governor Jeff Colyer signed HB 2581 into law on April 2018, increasing penalties for “swatting” or making other hoax calls if a third party suffers an injury or dies due to the prank. This type of crime is a level one felony, punishable by a maximum 41-year prison sentence.

If you have been accused of swatting in Kansas, you face harsh penalties that result in a lengthy prison sentence and a felony conviction on your criminal record that could ruin your life. Contact our legal team at Rokusek Stein Law, LLC today for more information.

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