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

The article doesn't say how the prosecutors came up with the Mortal Kombat connection. Did the murderers just confess to imitating the game?

I don't remember any pinching in Mortal Kombat...

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

...Being 17 years old makes me want to have a *facepalm'd* moment right now.

Why do jackasses think it's a good idea to rough-around with little kids? For god's sake you can kill a kid with a gentle poke to the noggin. NeverthelessI need to get this out of the way...

Don't blame the alcohol.
Don't blame the video games.
Don't fucking blame ANYTHING.

Stupid punks, being 17 myself I can understand the "art of shifting blame" (Then again, I never have a need to do so, and most of the time I just flat-out say "it's my fault"...). They can go rot in jail for all I care. They decide to drink, underage...and while being drunk, horse around with a 7-year-old child. What a bunch of moronic bullshit.

...And of course, all the blame will be shifted onto games. Not even the alcohol (Well not that the alcohol matters, their moronic thinking is to blame and nothing more). Man, I can prove right here these guys have shit for brains.

"He said he and Trujillo "cracked an egg in her mouth . . . in an attempt to see if she was messing around with them" by faking unconsciousness."

Oh that's real genius. Real damn genius.

Well this is damn wonderful. Because of this crap, the game industry just took a huge blow to the groin. I just hope people can understand that you need to stop believing the actions people do is caused by something else.

Man-up and take responsibility. Either way, you're going to jail unless you have Johnnie Cochran as your lawyer. (But that's not possible as of 2007)

Oh and...

@17-A
"As punishment, we summon Prince Goro out of his palace in Outworld and see how the drunken jackass does against him.

(Or Zombie Liu Kang. I’m not picky.)"

Bo-Rai-Cho, He's drunk and a MK character. (...Oh snap JT moment kicked in. *MORTAL KOMBAT SUPPORTS VIOLENCE AND DRINKING*)

wtf is wrong with you people?
dont you see this isnt about the video games.
a little girl is dead because two fucking stupid bastards felt like killing her.
this isnt about the alcohaul,nomatter how much alcohaul you drink it has nothing to do with it.
there stupid mother fuckers who deserve to get as much suffering as possible.
HOW CAN YOU KILL A LITTLE GIRL?
all of the crying,yelling,and begging them to stop.
THINK PEOPLE,stop bullshitting on and on about the game.
it isnt about the game.
its about a little girl who is now dead over some stupid fucking faggots.
god the things i would do to them bastards if i ever got near them.

They were drinking UNDERAGE!! That alone causes more immediate harm than a video game does!

@anonomys

Are you well aware of the fact that we DO CARE about the fact that a child is dead. We *are* annoyed at the fact that some dumb-assed fools killed her. Though this IS a place to discuss the gaming aspect of the whole issue. There are so many ways to describe our disgust with this but... Really...

I might sound cold and you'll probably disagree but... What's done is done...

JT tells kids its okay to blame videogames for your misdeeds, so they decide to mention it when they're arrested. That New Mexico case is the perfect example. If you succeed in saying a game is to blame for a murder, you are giving murderers an excuse to avoid punishment.

they should pay with their lives for doing such a horrible thing to somebody who can't even defend themselves.

So, after listening to this tripe on Foxnews, I hit google to see where the MK thing fits in. I can't find a single story that actually mentions where MK comes into the equation outside of them "imitating moves seen in Mortal Kombat". Last I checked, no one I was aware of in mortal kombat broke an egg and poured the contents down the throat of an unconcious victim....or submerged them in water. This is either a piss poor attempt by some kids to cover their tracks by blaming video games, or a piss poor attempt to explain a crime away by lazy cops by blaming video games. The latter seems to have become the new vogue for those in the law enforcement business.
The only connection to video games I found was in an article from the Denver post saying that the boyfriend had originally testified that he was downstairs playing video games while the sisters were upstairs wrestling. Now, wrestling to me sounds like some WWE fans. Not sure, just sort of my feeling. Mayhaps we should start asking if they did any figure-4's or an armbar. Actually, blood in the spine and damage to the skull would be indicative of body slams and throws that are normally found in wrestling. Furthermore, the moment the boyfriend said that his hands were registered as leathal weapons, we should have realized he wasn't the brightest bulb in the box. Another note, there were reports in either the wired.com article or the denver post article (Read a few too many now) that this wasn't the first time the little girl had been found with bruises. Prior babysitters had found bruises on her, and her response was that she had "fallen down some stairs"...can we say consistent with child abuse? History of abuse? Sociopathic tendencies?
Pureblooded idiocy killed that little girl, ignorance is giving them a social excuse, and I hope to god someone in colorado can see through this line of BS.

@anonomys

So you respond to their mindless violence with mindfull violence?

Secondly,

'nomatter how much alcohaul you drink it has nothing to do with it.'

Sorry, but that's wrong, alcohol has a proven effect on temper control, and feelings of invulnerability, alcohol has much to do with it. I think you jump to conclusions about the two who did this, and want judgement before trial. That's the one thing we want to avoid, be it judgement of games or judgement of the people involved.

I was going to say something, but everything I wanted to say has already been said. :)

@annonymous

Violence begets violence? The system has them, and the system will deal with them. While their crime is reprehensible, it should be reminded that trying to invoke some sort of personal justice (while I sympathize with you) is crass and overall ineffective in solving the problem. These two twits are poster children for what can go wrong in society. Alcohol was available, as it is in virtually any home (if it was not brought over by the boyfriend). Bad decisions were made that resulted in the death of this, from all accounts, dear young girl that was loved by a better part of the neighborhood. We do sympathize with those who feel loss, but at the same time we must look at the context in which it is being presented. Everything that has been presented so far places a far heavier burden of blame on video games then on the alcohol and poor parenting. That is what we are angry about. News stations painting up this tragedy as a cheap selling point to push out the idea that video games are the cause of this (practically every news article is calling this the 'mortal kombat' killing). We are upset that this little girl has become a talking point on a roster for a certain lawyer who I know is chomping at the bit to see how it falls. One would venture a guess that he's already working on a wrongful death lawsuit over this event as we speak. That is what irritates us. It goes beyond video games here mate.

Ghost Coins...

Yeah, you explained it better than I did...

@ Joe


... wow... just wow. Bigot much?

@Mister Angry

Thank you. I am trying to restrain myself. I, too, share annonymous' feelings on the matter, but, as you put it, what is done is done.
What I would like to know is what happened over the reports to child protective services (the family was apparently reported before over the 7 year old being injured). So, there is more to this particular event than just the tragedy itself.
There appears to be a building up to it. An absentee single mom (doing what she could I imagine) who in good faith left her eldest daughter the responsibility of watching over her little sister...then all hell broke loose. That much is null at this point, devoid of anymore contextual analysis benefit. We need to see what happened a priori. There we will find the monsters and boogymen that led up to this sad moment. Then, and only then can we really tally up the damage and make an assessment on the best way to go about fixing it.

@Joe (who's comment was apparently removed)

Please do not bring race into this. The wired forum is swamped with it, and it presents no real weight to the arguement at hand. It could have easily been anyone of any race, creed, religion, etc. To assume that this is based on the color of one's skin is both immature and grossly out of line.

Ok there are two BIG QUESTIONS that were NOT answered in this article from the original source...

A) Who provided the alcohol
B) Who authorized them to babysit

I must say there is OBVIOUSLY a lot more to this story than is being said and of course the media is failing once again. Let's take this from an experimental lab point of view...

Take one 17 year old male, a 16 year old female, and a 7 year old female and put them in a room...

Now there's no time of the event given so let's just say in the evening... 9:00 PM perhaps...

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that maybe one 17 male and one 16 female were doing things parents might find "inappropriate". Say then one 7 year old female hears noises or maybe the television is too loud so she comes out of her room to investigate.

This is all conjecture. I just feel like there was an, "oooo I'm telling!" moment from the 7 year old that just turned bad.

I'll skip to my point. The parents should be held accountable to some end (assuming that the boy was part of the babysitting group allowed by them).

Ok I'm rambling. This story just screams there's much more too it and it has nothing to do with video games. If there was a time and date of the assault and some background on the two there with the little girl I wouldn't have this gut feeling.

I think this is is my first time replying to GP, normally because what gets posted is a mere matter of a sigh, a snigger or a shaking of the head.

This actually makes me angry. A seven year old killed by people that have no *excuse* for it possibly being accidental, not only that but her own sister.

It's a little harsh, but I hope she dies a horrible, painful death.
And to think she can blame it on a game that hasn't been in the limelight for what, 10 years or more?

Next on Shifting Blame: "Custer's Revenge made me think rape was a great idea!" -Stay Tuned!

This is really sad. Why did these kids have access to alcohol? Lets hope their video game defence gets shot down instantly.

@ Loudspeaker

a) most likely the alcohol was already present in the house. An adult does live there, so there is a strong possibility that alcohol was readily available. Not exactly a crime to have beer in your fridge. I am also fairly certain that the mother did not encourage her daughter to drink or to share the mother's alcohol with anyone underage. If she did, she is now in the running with Brittney Spears' mom for matron of the year.
Now, if the boyfriend brought something over, then you can hunt down who sold it to him and pop them with selling to a minor, no more no less. Trying to ding the alcohol vendor would be very, very difficult.

b) when does a parent need to 'authorize' a daughter to watch a younger daughter? When I was growing up it was more of an accepted thing.

" son, you're going to watch your little brother while we go to the store."
" yes dad."

End of scenario. There might be some bitching and moaning, but my parents came home to to kids vice one every time. Most likely the mother did not 'authorize' a visit by the boyfriend. Sadly, no legal binding on either issue. Now, if there is negligence, bad parenting, etc. You can possibly ding her with that in a court of law, but trying to get this event to stick to the one who 'authorized' them to babysit is going to be harder then dinging the bloke that might have sold alcohol to the boyfriend.

However, the scenario you presented does sound like the most rational posited by any talking head on the news stations across the globe. Tragically, we're not getting paid as much as they are to ignore logic and reasoning. I do wonder how much those tools get paid to ham this stuff up?

@anonomys

"this isnt about the alcohaul,nomatter how much alcohaul you drink it has nothing to do with it."

You're an idiot. Underage drinking? Criminal negligence? This has everything to do with alcohol.

damn this suck dumb as s kids. drunken fatality for the lose

Yeah. Let's completely ignore the fact that these teens were drunk and blame some random video game that has absolutely no relevance.

Maybe if one of them shot a grappling hook out of their hand, and yelled out "GET OVER HERE!!!!", they could blame it.

http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_7760927

"One neighbor said she suspected Zoe was being abused and said she reported it to authorities before she died.

Rhonda Simonetti said she baby-sat Zoe and her twin sisters twice, for four days each time, when she noticed bruises on Zoe.

"The first time I asked her, she said she fell down the stairs," Simonetti said. "The second time, she started crying and said Lamar had been hitting her."

Simonetti said she took a day off to report the abuse but never heard back. "

So there's a history of violence with nothing done about it until the child's death, and then it's the fault of video games?

@Loudspeaker:

Well apparently Midway did.... oh wait. They just made Mortal Kombat, nevermind.

@ WarOtter: "(Yes I’m a callous prick)"

Perhaps, years from now, you'll remember what you wrote here and regret it. I hope so.

the fact here is she was drunk

WTF!!

@ Dave
in colorado i dont think we use anything for painful deaths i think we just use lethal enjection

@ Ghost Coins

Yeah I hear ya... What I was getting at is when does the partent become responsible for allowing all these lovely variables comingle? If the boyfriend did provide the beer then I completely agree the situation becomes very different.

Bottom line this article needs more facts and less conjecture (kinda like JTs courtroom rebuttal this week in Arizona) *rimshot*

Seriously though... The only fact that can be contrived from that story is that a 7 year old has been tragically killed and that more facts need to be brought up regarding the case.

@ DarkTestsuya

Haha! Suddenly Mortal Kombat liquor comes to mind. So many ideas on that so little time. :D

Mortal Kombat is like so 1990's.

Oh yeah, they did martial arts on her, so it must be Mortal Kombat's fault.

@Loudspeaker

MK alcohol...I just had the image of the tequilla with a scorpion in it pass through my mind. One question, how would they fit him in the bottle? And would sub-zero's ever be anything but chilled?

This has happened so many times with Teens imitating wrestling moves from the WWE and things like that. It being Mortal Kombat has absolutely NO relevance in the case; Unless someone got a spine ripped out. otherwise, All I see is a teen that should know better to wrestle with a 7- year old, and another teen who should know better then to get drunk around a kid!

At least they didn't blame it on Chuck Noris... cuz that would have really got him pissed.

I hope they sentence the baby sitters to death... via face kick.

...FATALITY!!!

Where in mortal kombat does it give you the option to tag team against a single opponent?

@Relique

No, they should freeze them and kick them so they break in half, and the top half shatters.

@Justanotherlass

Excellent point. I'll wait here, sharpening the pitchforks.


On a related note, in the future should someone ever admit to killing a human being because a videogame inspired him to do it (and not a ridiculous fifteen year old game at that), do we believe him or instantly deny he ever said it and go snap at anyone who dares think otherwise?

@ other Sean

Dude, i called dibs.

Why isn't the bible more relevant in people's lives today? Why would these drunk teenagers re-enact mortal kombat when they could re-enact the fall of Jericho! Come on kids! The Bible has a way bigger body count, plus it's sanctioned by your local authorities!

Fortunately, this story seems to have been drowned out in the TV news.

TV's been flooded with yet another pregnant Spears, yet another Peterson with a missing/dead wife, the other missing girl that's now presumed murdered, that family that was found after three days in the snow, and some blue dude from Oregon.

@ Anywho

It made it all the way down to my corner of the world, our rag (the herald) had a short article about it in its world rap-up section.

Funnily they didn't mention alcohol, just MK, biased fuckers.

Did they specify whether they played the game or saw one of the movies.

Utterly Unexcusable! Since when did Scorpion had a "pinch the thigh" move or Liu Kang poking anyone's chest? Now if the story said the suspects did a HIMBABALE!!!-ish move by Raiden, then I would maybe believe they immitated Mortal Kombat. Maybe.

I'm with the people who pointed out the word "drunk." How can anyone overlook THAT.

This is madness.

@ Mredria

The headline was "Teens follow game moves". They say the moves came from the: "Mortal Kombat video game" (quoting a prosecutor), no mention of which one though.

But its fair enough; I mean I remember repeatedley kicking younger siblings in the back while I was drunk in MK3.

...oh wait... no I FUCKING don't cause it never FUCKING happend *finishes venting*.

Like I said they're pretty biased.

@ White-haired Journalist

In accordance with the ancient rules of the intertubes:

MADNESS??? THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!!!11one

As an actual answer though; video games are evil and corrupting, whereas if they reported eveycase of alcohol fueled murder they'd look like a phone directory/have no bandwith left for other scaremongering (whichever is more appropriate).

@Mredia:

I'm not sure... I think they either said it was on the Microsoft Gamestation or Sony Wii60. :P

[...] (Sources: GamePolitics, Rocky Mountain News) [...]

This should simply be treated as a sick killing by these two. Whatever they want to blame, the fact is they did this act which resulted in the death of a child. I don't care if they were imitating jesus throwing people out of the temple(little jt bullshit there) and that was why it happened. The fact is that it DID happen, and they are responsible for their actions.

Why did they have access to alcohol? Why was there a previous history of abuse? Why did the mother allow this? Did the mother abuse the child as well?

These are the questions that need to be asked. It doesn't matter what you imitate, if you are old enough to know what you are doing is wrong, then you are responsible. These two are fucking idiots and deserve to be put away.

the latest MK game was MK Armageddon for the PS2 and it later game out for the Wii but that game out last year I think.... still this is a sad story no matter if it was because of a game or not

Look, I've been pretty drunk before, and started when I was pretty young (not smart, don't drink, and if you do, give your keys away), but how drunk do you have to be to attack a 7 year old? A 17 inch deep dish makes sense, but come on! What rock do these kids get raised under?

Man, when I was that age, all I did when I drank beer was play Goldeneye or MarioKart all night and sleep all the next day. Isn't that enough? When does beating on a 7 year old get fun? Sick.
 
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