A California man was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Friday for phoning a false hostage threat to police in Wichita, Kan., resulting in the death of an innocent man.
Tyler Rai Barriss, 26, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty in November to 51 charges, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in the Central District of California. He will serve 20 to 25 years in federal prison as part of a plea agreement.
Prosecutors say police responded to the home of 28-year-old Andrew Finch in Wichita on Dec. 28, 2017, after a caller falsely claimed to be inside with hostages and a gun — a style of prank known as “swatting.” Finch, unaware of the report, answered the door and was fatally shot on his porch by officers who had surrounded his home.
That call was determined to have originated from Barriss, who told authorities he’d made the call at the request of 19-year-old gamer Casey Viner, who’d gotten into a feud with Shane Gaskill, 20, while the two were playing “Call of Duty” online.
According to prosecutors, Viner, of Ohio, contacted Barriss and asked him to “swat” Gaskill, who lived in Wichita. But Gaskill tricked the man into calling authorities to a two-story house where he once lived, but then occupied by Finch.
— Michael Brice-Saddler
A former Roman Catholic priest who served in Rapid City, S.D., has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing a child.
John Praveen, 38, pleaded guilty in February to sexually touching a 13-year-old girl over her clothes last year.
The Rapid City Journal reported that Judge Steven Mandel handed down the sentence Friday after prosecutors asked for the maximum of one year in prison. Mandel said that was “not adequate” for Praveen’s crime.
Praveen will be eligible for parole in three years, after which the parole board could ask the federal government to deport him to India. Praveen had joined the Rapid City Diocese for a 10-year assignment in December 2017.
Praveen apologized and told the court he wishes he could take back what he did.
— Associated Press
Police were looking Friday for a man identified as the suspect in a fatal shooting of his next-door neighbor after the killing was recorded on the victim’s cellphone.
The phone was found next to 63-year-old Gary Dolce’s body after he was shot several times on Wednesday in Colorado Springs and was still recording, the Gazette reported.
According to an arrest affidavit, the video shows a blue SUV driven by James William Hanlon, 53, who points a black handgun at Dolce while wearing a blue, disposable glove.
The video captures several shots and Dolce falling to the ground yelling “Oh my God!” A second volley of shots are heard but are not captured on video.
Police say Hanlon may have left the state.
The shooting happened about an hour after Hanlon was cited for having an aggressive animal. In an audio recording regarding that, an animal control officer and Hanlon can be heard talking about the fence separating his property from Dolce’s, according to the affidavit.
Over a month before the shooting, police responded to “an altercation” between Dolce and Hanlon, according to the arrest affidavit. Dolce told police “his neighbor was trying to get him to fight and that there were ongoing issues with the neighbor,” the document said.
— Associated Press