Judge Rejects Teen's Video Game Defense in Murder Trial

January 12, 2009 - 1:38 PM
Teen Convicted of Killing Mother over Video Game
Elyria, Ohio (AP) - A judge Monday rejected the defense that a teenage boy opened fire on his family because he was addicted to video games, convicting him of wounding his clergyman father and killing his mother after they fought over a video game.
 
Lawyers for Daniel Petric, 17, didn't contest that the boy shot his parents in October 2007, but insisted his youth and video game addiction made him less responsible. But Common Pleas Judge James Burge disagreed and pointed to evidence the boy plotted the crime for weeks.
 
Petric was convicted of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and other charges. He faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison without parole. The judge didn't set a sentencing date.
 
Prosecutors said Petric planned to kill his parents because he was angry that his father would not allow him to play the video game "Halo 3," in which players shoot alien monsters that have taken over the Earth.
 
During the trial, deputy prosecuting attorney Anthony Cillo described Petric as a cold, calculating killer who plotted to murder his parents, Mark and Susan Petric, and make it appear to be a murder-suicide by putting the gun in his father's hand.
 
Defense Attorney James Kersey has said that Petric was obsessed with the "Halo" series of video games, which he played 18 hours a day when he had the chance. Petric used his father's key to open a lockbox and remove a 9 mm handgun and the game.
 
Mark Petric, who is a minister at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, testified that his son came into the room and asked: "Would you guys close your eyes? I have a surprise for you."
 
The father, who recovered from the shooting, testified that he expected a pleasant surprise. Then his head went numb from a gunshot. His wife, Susan, 43, died of gunshot wound to the head.