A Shrewdness of Apes

An Okie teacher banished to the Midwest. "Education is not the filling a bucket but the lighting of a fire."-- William Butler Yeats

Monday, January 12, 2009

Whoa. Remember the "Twinkie" defense?

Oh, yes-- an addiction to VIDEO GAMES certainly ameliorates matricide. At least-- that's what his lawyer says....


ELYRIA, Ohio – Although a teenager's obsession with a violent video game may have warped his sense of reality, the boy is guilty of murdering his mother and wounding his father after they took "Halo 3" away from him, a judge ruled Monday.

"I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever," Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge said.

Nonetheless, Burge rejected the defense attorneys' argument that Petric, 17, was not guilty by reason of insanity.

The defense didn't contest that Petric shot his parents in October 2007 after they took the game away from him, but insisted that the teen's youth and addiction made him less responsible.

Petric may have been addicted, but the evidence also showed he planned the crime for weeks, said Burge, who found the teenager guilty of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and other charges.

Tried as an adult, Petric faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison without parole. The judge didn't set a sentencing date.

The teen's mother, Susan Petric, 43, died of a gunshot wound to the head. Her husband, Mark Petric, a minister at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, also was shot in the head but survived.

After the verdict was announced, Petric turned to look at his father seated behind him in the courtroom. Mark Petric, who previously said he has forgiven his son, gave an encouraging nod.

Mark Petric and other relatives left the court without comment.

Prosecutors said Petric planned to kill his parents because he was angry that his father would not allow him to play the video game, in which players shoot alien monsters that have taken over the Earth.

On the night of the shooting, Petric used his father's key to open a lockbox and remove a 9 mm handgun and the game.

Mark Petric testified that his son came into the room and asked: "Would you guys close your eyes? I have a surprise for you." He testified that he expected a pleasant surprise. Then his head went numb from the gunshot.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Anthony Cillo argued during the trial that the teenager had planned to make it appear to be a murder-suicide by putting the gun in his father's hand.

Defense Attorney James Kersey said that when the teenager fled the grisly scene, he only took one item with him: the "Halo 3" game.

A message seeking comment was left Monday with a Los Angeles public relations firm that represents the game maker, Bungie LLC.

Just when I think that the lack of shame has reached an all-time low, I get brought up short. A teenager not understanding that "dead" is forever. Killing-- or trying to kill-- both your parents over a video game.

Makes me feel a little less like an ogre for my rules about this kind of stuff at Casa Cornelius. Even if I AM the meanest mother ever in this Facebook-free, Myspace-free, text-message-free, instant-messenger-free house.

But somehow I don't think that those kinds of things are the problem here. There is something else seriously, seriously wrong with a society that wants to make excuses for this kind of behavior, no matter what.

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1 Comments:

At 1/16/09, 9:54 AM, Blogger Priest said...

Society is NOT the problem or the real issue. The insanity defense was a pure legal ploy and here's the tie in. Attorneys are taught to operate in a "moral vacuum" as that is what allows for a lawyer to aggressively litigate on behalf of their client even if the attorney secretly thinks - knows their client of guilty as charged.

"Society" did NOT allow this perversion of justice to arise and rule free of repercussions. There are approx. 70,000 registered lobbyists operating in Washington, D.C. and about 94% of them are lawyers representing large corporate interest. This population and attending agenda is what creates laws, legislation, regulations, etc. It is noteworthy that the above in no way represent "We the People ..." in any fashion whatsoever.

You might want to put the blame where it truly belongs, namely, square on the shoulders of our elected officials who have given nothing but bad governance for decades. Attorneys are merely the messenger and rather greedy, insidious ones at that.

 

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