Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ahhh the age old question:

Do video games cause violence? I don't know about all that, but an unstable mental history certainly will.

Daniel Petric killed mother, shot father because they took Halo 3 video game, prosecutors say

In September 2007, Daniel, then 16, had sneaked out of his bedroom window to purchase the game at a store against his father's orders. When he returned home, his parents caught him with the game and took it from him. His father, Mark, a minister at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, put the game in a lockbox in a closet where he also kept a 9mm handgun, according to prosecutors.

About a month later, on Oct. 20, 2007, Daniel used his father's key to open the lockbox and remove the gun and the game. The boy shot his parents, killing his mother and gravely wounding his father. As his father lay wounded, Daniel tried to place the gun in his father's hand.

Also on Monday, a tearful Mark Petric testified that his son came up behind him as he sat on the couch and said, "Would you guys close your eyes? I have a surprise for you."
Petric, 45, said he "expected a pleasant surprise" and closed his eyes. Then his head went numb. As the blood poured from a bullet wound in his head, he realized his wife, Susan Petric, 43, was lying dead on a nearby loveseat, shot in the head, arms and chest.

Petric said his son shoved the gun into his hand saying, "Hey Dad, here's your gun. Take it."

Mark Petric broke down on the witness stand as he said he believes he survived the shooting only because his daughter and husband arrived at the house to watch an Indians game. He heard his son telling them they couldn't come inside.

"You guys shouldn't come in," Mark Petric recalled his son saying. "Mom and Dad had a big argument."

The couple, Heidi and Andrew Archer, testified they heard a moan - possibly their names being groaned - from inside the house, pushed their way in and found the elder Petric wounded and his wife dead. The elder Petric, through his shattered jaw, managed to say his son had shot him, while Daniel tried to blame his father.

Heidi Archer called 9-1-1 and then realized that Daniel had picked up the handgun that had been lying on the couch. Her husband took the gun from the boy, who gave it up without resistance.

The boy ran out of the house and fled in the family van. He was caught by Wellington police a short time later, the Halo 3 game still on the front seat.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty due to his age, so no jury.

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