Colorado Teens Held for Murder, Said to be Imitating Mortal Kombat

December 20, 2007 -
In what is likely to become a black eye for the video game industry, a pair of Colorado teenagers face murder charges following the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl.

Lamar Roberts, 17, and Heather Trujillo, 16 (seen at left), told police they were babysitting Heather's sister, Zoe Garcia earlier this month. According to the Rocky Mountain News, the three began acting out a version of Mortal Kombat.

Roberts, apparently drunk, kicked the litte girl. Heather Trujillo told police she "punched [Zoe] in the stomach, karate chopped her lower arms, punched and pinched the victim's thighs, kicked her in the shins, slapped her stomach and buttocks and poked at the victim's chest."

GP: From the limited information available so far, it's difficult to know whether Roberts and Trujillo actually played Mortal Kombat, or whether it is a generic reference to martial arts fighting. In either case, the linkage of the tragedy to the controversial game series is likely to further tarnish the image of the video game industry.

Comments

Lemme get this straight. a DRUNK 17 year old, KICKED A 7-YEAR OLD CHILD. and VIDEOGAMES are being hold responsible?


I hold the PARENTS responsible. if the child was DRUNK then that's the first problem right there. HOW did she get access to alochol?

I hold the TEENS responsible. YOU ACTED OUT VIOLENCE UPON A CHILD YOU WERE BABYSITTING. IF YOU WERE DRINKING, THAT MAKES IT EVEN WORSE.

people like this DESERVE to be locked up, to prevent this from happening again.

The little girl got killed, that is horrible, wrong, sad, and I hope the two "babysitters" are locked up for a long, long time. I would wager on out in 3 years, maybe 5 at most and find that sickening. But they will have "learned their lesson" and "be sorry for what they did." No apologies to the companies they intentionally slandered.

No bringing her back, yes that is callous but it is true. I think most people here realize that and won't dwell on that fact. Instead they will opt to discuss the political and media ramifications.

I think everyone else has pointed out the facts, teenagers will blame shift to try to avoid punishment. These particular teens were drunk. Seeing the two, I would be willing to wager that the boyfriend was the one who thought up the "Mortal Kombat made us do it! Just stick to the story are we can get off scott free!" angle.

That is what I think this entire MK bull is; blame shift, lie, choose a scape goat that is not domestic abuse or teen drinking. Those don't work as well at getting the public worked into a spitting rage. The little girl was showing up at school bruised and beaten. The public should be up in arms about that. Was the mother playing these games too and acting them out? Or was the mother just ignoring why her daughter was having the crap beat out of her? I doubt either of those.

These people got drunk, killed a little girl. It is no different than going to a bar, getting loaded, and running down some kid in your car. Did GTA make you do it? No!

Take responsibility for your own stupidity.

@Mort
I second that. Midway as well as the entire ESA should sue the pants off these two for slander.

@ monte

Can we move off that subject now? Even the best of us have brain farts, m'kay?

Clearly if it was Mortal Kombat they were imitating, then that's what's to blame! Obviously not the fact that they were drinking underage while babysitting!

So, let me get this straight:
Never before in the history of man have teenagers gotten drunk and beaten someone to death?

Furthermore, there's no evidence that alcohol removes inhibitions and reduces one's capacity for good judgment?

Must be the video games that made them do it. Fire away, JT. You can't POSSIBLY lose this one. After all, you've got a pretty girl turned to a murderer by that black scourge!

For all the proof you need: There is an exceptionally gore-filled "Fatality move" in Mortal Kombat that has an egg placed in the opponent's mouth, just like in this case!

To clarify, I don't think Midway and ESA should go after the kids. I do think however that these kids don't care about any damage they cause to anyone else if it helps them get lesser sentences. Out for themselves, screw everyone else.

It drives me to tears to see something like this happen...regardless of the reasons. I have a 7 year old son and could imagine the fear and pain this girl went thru, from her older sister that she probably looked up to and followed around, and the fear when she asked to stop and they didn't. I don't care why it happened..that just leads to people playing the blame game. I care THAT it happened and hope the girl is at peace now that her suffering has stopped.

A kid gets DRUNK and beats a girl to death and this will somehow be related back to video games? Christ the world is a strange place

As much as I hate hearing people say "games made me do it" which in turn adds more fuel to the fire. It's kinda come expected that some people these days will try to say video games made them do it so they think they can get off the hook.

As with alot of people here already. I'm sure the underage drinking will be totally over looked.

I believe there's something more there me and my younger brother we've wrestled each other countless times but were lways smart enough to know it was for fun. and never attempted to injure or even urt each other. there's a difference in fighting for fun and fighting in a way that kills people. And "I don't know I was drunk" just sound plain stupid to me. mentally ill stupid to me or "I'm trying to cover up the real story with a dumb cover up stupid.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn all this videogame imitating stuff is cover up by the teens for someting else far worse.

RE:Barly
Jeddy is right. People here, save one, care more about the PR problem this will cause for gaming than the fact that some little girl out there just got fatalitied by some mother^&ckers who need to get their eyes scooped out of their heads.
-----

Hm, yes, the problem of violence in video games is much-ignored and ought to be discussed seriously, but problably not by those who are threatening extreme violence against the people who committed a horribly violent act and blamed it on a violent video game.

You know Mortal Kombat was also a 2hr, non stop "martial arts fighting" MOVIE....but I'm sure no reference to THAT will be mentioned. Especially how its easier to get that than the game now a days.

Glad to see that the alcohol distributor or the PARENTS weren't blamed as well...

@ BaronJuJu

Actually, it was a couple of movies, line of action figures, music cds, comic books, and a TV show. Sure I'm actually forgetting some extras there, but you get the point.

Of course it was the evil video games fault. It couldn't be because some stupid ass teens got drunk could it? It has to be the evil game that corrputed good moral children into beating up the little girl. I hope the prosecution knows by going off of the whole "They did it because it was in a video game" claim will do nothing but weaken their case. Very few "News sources" are reporting about the families history of abuse on the girl and focusing on a wild claim that Mortal Kombat inspired them to do it.

@Guiguibob80

I fully agree, I think once the case develops more we will find that video games had nothing to do with this murder, They were drunk and more then likely on some drug and the boyfriend is going to have some sort of criminal record on assaulting people.

Wonder if the little girl said she was going to tell on them and they felt the needed to beat her until she said she wouldn't.

What idiots. I hate it when stupid, easily preventable shit like this happens due to the stupidity and carelessness of others. You don't drink when you're farking babysitting! Send them to Guantanamo Bay or something. I hope they get tried as adults.

@ someguy

Swelling in the brain can and quite often is fatal

@JustAnotherLass

Agreed, people seem to be losing focus of the fact that this was NOT a deliberate act, these kids are going to have live with their stupidity for the rest of their lives, they aren't the first kids to accidentally kill one of their group whilst fooling around, nor will they be the last.

I feel sad that a 7-year old died, its a terrible event, there's no doubt of that, but the whole culture of 'someone is responsible for everything' is getting silly. They were drunk by the looks of things, which is often a contributor in tragedies such as this, and they lost track of where the line was, the result was heart-breaking. Whilst the ultimate responsibility of the act falls onto those who struck the blows, people need to keep in focus that it was an accident, not a murder, they weren't trying to kill the girl, they were playing and something went too far and someone died.

It's a tragedy that has been repeated for thousands of years, both in reality and in stories.

Those two teens acted irresponsible and one was intoxicated, as a result, a little girl is dead cause those two did something very stupid and foolish and I hope there "The video games made me do it" defense fails and they get the sentence they deserve for there idiocy >_>.

So they admit that they were influenced by Mortal Kombat. Fair enough. Of course, if they knew they were acting out the game then they were aware of what they were doing when they were doing it. It was a conscious decision to beat someone up. Two possibilities then:

They didn't intend it to go that far, in which case the alcohol is probably the culprit for clouding their judgment. How much is the beverage industry going to be attacked for this?

They intended it to go how it did, in which case it's premeditated assault inspired by Mortal Kombat. Question for the panel: If person A copycats previous killer B, is B in trouble?

We have a sick crime here and they're doing what kids do. They're not trying to *blame* Mortal Kombat, they're trying to *excuse* themselves.

(Aside: "Roberts said he cracked an egg in her mouth[...]" Would anyone else have thought of doing that?)

I find myself disgusted and sickened at this news, more so than any tirade by Jack, scapegoating politicians, or one sided news from the old media. Which I believe is appropriate, considering that a death of a seven year old was the end result of the "babysitters's" drunken stupor.

How stupid do you have to be to not consider the consequences of drinking while babysitting?

[...] Supposedly murder because of stupid drunk teenagers imitating Mortal Kombat [...]

Drinking's not an excuse either. Plenty of people get drunk every day without murdering children.

Let's not forget the 7-year-old in question has a history of suspicion of abuse at the hands of, get this, the 17-year-old who ninja kicked her to death.

I'm sick of all this crap about people doing things like murder, stealing cars, abusing others, and breaking and entering. Then going and blaming it on Grand Theft Auto, or Mortal Kombat. You know what that is not your problem, stop blaming the games, because they are not doing anything to you. This is the kinda stuff that Jack looks for to have us hate him more. So listen and listen good. "GAMES DO NOT MAKE YOU DO THINGS YOU DON'T WANT TO IT'S ALL YOU AND NOTHING ELSE. GAMES DO NOT MAKE YOU WANT TO DO THESE THINGS THEY HAVE BEEN SOMETHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO DO AND YOU FINALLY ACTED UPON THEM."

"Roberts, apparently drunk..."

This story should read, "teen kills girl while under the influence of alchohol."

Welcome to the culture of economically censored and Christian biggoted video game manipulation. We're playing the most watered down and childish crap concieveable and stories like this only make it less offensive and more "kid safe" (although such games are intended for adults in the first place).

 EZK: This is not a religious discussion. Please do not try to make it one.

there was no karate chopping in MK - nor was there any stomach poking

and they dont even know if she even played the games

this is just the media blowing it out of proportion and blaming a game that they remember from the distant past

the way i see it...if nobody popped out of the corner and said "TOASTY!" then this is not something to blame MK on

It's rare for anyone to accept responsability for their actions, let alone a teenager who's gotten drunk and killed her friends sister. They are doing what kids always do when they get into trouble, that's lie their asses off in order to deflect blame.

The death is tragic but it's got about as much to do with Mortal Kombat, as it does with Jackie Chan's Drunken Master movie, or the millions of other martial arts books, movies, and training videos that have been released over the years.

As for us caring more about the PR problem.... This is "Gamepolitics.com" not "IJustLostMyKidInATragicEvent.com" the lies that are being told in order to deflect blame hurt in an effort to save their butts hurts the game industry and adds fuel to the fires of those media crusaders like J.T. who will use this as an example of "How games cause violence".

We aren't unsympathetic to the loss of a child. However there is little we can do to remedy that loss. In my mind the only way to do it would be to make sure that this childs killers are put to justice. And we don't do that by allowing the killers to lie about why they did what they did and point the finger at someone else (games/movies/etc) when they know darn well that they are the ones responsible.

@ pandralisk

I find it amazing that I always seem to agree with your first couple sentences, but then I end up rolling my eyes and laughing at you by the middle of the next few.

Your report says "apparantly drunk". There's no apparantly about it. Lamar's report to police stated that he was drunk. not drinking, drunk!

@mottom22

I'm not going to go into it, but please pay attention to the content of games. You'd be either highly ignorant or mad if you believe that perverse moral and economic forces are not contexualizing and defining the content of games intended for adults. Most gamers simply do not possess enough insight and unbias judgment to make such an observation. As Vince Desi put it, "...gamers just don't give a damn or notice censorship."

Anyhow, it's funny the fact that headlines do not even mention the fact that the kid was highly intoxicated...

Roberts, apparently drunk, kicked the little girl.
Roberts, drunk, kicked the little girl.
drunk, kicked the little girl.
drunk, kicked the girl.
drunk, kicked girl.
drunk, kicked
drunk,

Some people say that there's no real reference to Mortal Kombat aside from the article. One of the articles I read had the female defendant say that they were acting out Mortal Kombat. Of course, her boyfriend claims his hands are a registered "Lethal Weapon." That's not just a play on words, that's actually a direct reference to the first movie. Danny Glover tells Mel Gibson he should be registered as a Lethal Weapon (hence the title).

So, we've got a game, underage drinking, and 2X movies (the game also had a movie). Yet the articles focus only on the game?

Hey question..sence they wheren't intending to kill the little girl. But still beat her to death.

Is this like invonlintary manslaughter with like assult and battery?

I know it's a whole different charge it people intended to kill or plot for it.

Compaired to an "accdent"....though they sure seem intended on beating this little girl up....

@ LightWarrior

They are officially being charged with child abuse resulting death. This holds a sentence of around 16 to 48 years in prison.

@Tale:

The term "Lethal Weapon" didn't stem from the movie originally. Sure, the title of the movie comes from the fact that Murtaugh tells Riggs he should be considered a lethal weapon, but that's not the origination of the phrase.

Wow they never saw the MK movies did they...stupid sensationalizing....

Okay there was a history of abuse toward this child, and yet they want to blame video games?

OMG, whatever happened to person responsibility? I swear, the world is going to destroy itself soon, just you wait.

my thoughts are with the mother. what a terrible thing, to lose a child.

@Jeddy3
You're a complete retard, seriously.

The teens 'admitted' to being acting out a game? Why would they do that?

Could it be the lesser sentence, or possibility of no sentence? Could it be because like all criminals, they want to say its not their fault and blame the gun maker/game maker/their upbringing?

Robert Coffey once said "Replace murder with stealing the family car, and you've got a kid trying to avoid being grounded".

And if you really think games caused this, then you need to have your brain examined, and be instituionalized.

The day that America is run on emotional responses and hearsay instead of rational thinking is the day that our society will fall apart.

And Jeddy, you're a jackass.

This is truly a sad, sad story. The thought that video games might somehow get the finger pointed at them for causing this tragedy is irresponsible and stupid.

First, we got an underage minor teenage baby sitter and her boyfriend... DRUNK!

Second, apparently the girl they were looking after had a history of abuse, whether within or from outside the family.

Third, I keep thinking back to the old urban legend of a stoned family cooking their baby while under the influence of illegal narcotics.

I think there's a lot of blame to go around, but to pin it entirely on Mortal Kombat, or say that it even partly on Mortal Kombat, is ridiculous.

It could have been Power Rangers...
It could have been WWE Wrestling...
It could have been TNA Impact...
It could have been a Martial Arts movie...
It could have been ANYTHING!

The fact of the matter is that while inebriated, those kids committed murder by beating up a 7-year old girl.

I'd want those kids to live out their lives in jail for this crime! (I'd say fry, but I think growing up and spending the rest of their lives is more humane while being crueler at the same time!)

Furthermore, I want to know what the parents were doing about this? Had they not heard reports that this sitter's boyfriend had abused the girl once before?

And then there's the fact that they were drunk! DRUNK!

Drunk, underage minors committing murder!

It's obscene!

To try and drag video games into this case of clear cut abuse and child neglect is a TRAVESTY! There is no reason why the finger shouldn't be pointed DIRECTLY at the sitter, her boyfriend, and also the child's family.

This isn't about video games! It's about two morally irresponsible teenagers committing a hideous crime and a family who, from preliminary reports, seemed to allow the kind of behavior that led up to this.

To bring video games into this is just a tactic by the media or politicians that want to overly sensationalize this and try and use it for a personal agenda.

And that's almost, if not more, disgusting than the actual murder.

~Otaku-Man

@ Lightwarrior

I'm gonna say Child Neglect all around for both babysitters and family.
Assault and Battery for one babysitter (the one who did it)
Accessory for the other.

A count of murder for the babysitter that murdered the child.

And uh....
probably some random charges for underage drinking and intoxication and things of that nature.

@ Otaku
My good man, the videogame issue was brought in by the babysitters. They're trying to weasel out of killing a child by blaming it on videogames.

This man is no martial artsist.

I'm a fucking martial artist, and all the times I've been drinking I've never killed or injured anyone.

This is just 2 assholes trying to place blame on videogames.

Eh, kids do stupid crap all the time and people blame Pro Wrestling, Ninja Turtles, Road Runner, Tom & Jerry, etc, and those industries didn't miss a beat. This isn't any different. Heck, the video game industry has even MORE money to combat this bad PR than any of those other industries.

@Weighted Companion Cube

Never said it was the origin of the phrase. However, what the male defendent said is obviously related to what Murtaugh said. Not the phrase "lethal weapon" but the phrase relating to having your own person be registered as one.

Fatality!
Llama Roberts Wins!

Flawless victory!

(Yes I'm a callous prick)

I heard about this story from a CNN alert. A teen only a year away from legally being considered a man BEATS a CHILD to DEATH, while her own sister did nothing. If I read the story right, it sounds like the boy originally tried to claim only the sister had wrestled with her. Any excuse to save his own hide...
I can't even imagine how the mother feels, loosing a daughter and knowing your other child had a hand in it?

@Austin Lewis

"I’m a fucking martial artist, and all the times I’ve been drinking I’ve never killed or injured anyone."

Funnily enough, you're paid to kill people, however you want to put it.

On anothr note, i'd like to remind everyone that we have forums, link's at the top of the page, and we'd love to have some new members.
 
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