Halo 3 Teen Killer Gets Life in Murder of Mom… Parole in 23 Years

Daniel Petric, who shot his mother to death and badly wounded his father after they banned him from playing Halo 3 in a 2007 incident, has been sentenced to life in prison by an Ohio judge. Under the terms of the sentence, Petric will be eligible for parole in 23 years.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that an emotional Petric  (left) tried to address the court but was unable to speak.

While delivering his verdict in the case in January, Judge James Burge seemed to blame violent video games:

This Court’s opinion is that we don’t know enough about these video games…

 

It’s my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing…

 

The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they’re there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And 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.

See our story from earlier today for more background on the case.

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58 comments

  1. FlakAttack says:

    Religion also teaches you that you never truly die… Jesus respawned, did he not? =D

    Also, are you the FT of Wurm fame?

  2. FlakAttack says:

    For those who don’t remember, this man’s father is a pastor (if I remember right) for a local church. Like I said earlier, people have killed for much less than this man has.

  3. gamegod25 says:

    My point is that these people were unstabe to begin with. If Halo were replaced with anything else (the bible for example) I can guarantee that this murder would have recieved little or no media coverage.

    I’m not saying that addiction isn’t a real (but very small) problem but when you kill someone you’re ****ing crazy. I’ve missed playing games while away from home but I’ve never killed anyone for it!

  4. jedidethfreak says:

    Yeah, why would religion be involved?  If you claim that ideas of an afterlife would be involved, then I’d just reply "Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt honor thy mother and thy father."

    And I don’t even go to church.

     

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  5. Father Time says:

    I doubt the kid had any confusion that his parents would be dead forever. Although I fail to see why religion’s being blamed.

    —————————————————-

    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  6. Raziel5150 says:

    "And 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."

    Um…he’s not a 5yr old.  *shakes head*  Pro-Choice ftw.

  7. Wolvenmoon says:

    Okay, first off, the potential for the physiological symptoms of addiction can occur with ANY pleasurable action repeated often enough. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavlovian_conditioning 

    Video game addiction is not a myth, but is greatly exageratted to prove a political point, much like the ‘10% of the population is gay’ myth. http://www.google.com/search?q=10%25+of+the+population+is+gay&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

     

    The man may be crazy, but the human mind is psuedorandom, to my understanding. In a comment further down I said this: His brain was probably wired in a way that any fantasy could have been a player in this, that it was video games is coincidence.

    The only thing that would be proven by video games having a role in this case is to show that they are one of the dominant forms of storytelling in our society today.

  8. MrKlorox says:

    Or it could have been the religion. You said it yourself, some people are mentally wired to be more susceptible.

  9. MrKlorox says:

    As I said last time, I have a feeling the supposed confusion over whether or not his parents would be dead forever is more a result of the religion than the games. The detail that his father was/is a preacher is mysteriously left out.

  10. Wolvenmoon says:

    Some people are mentally wired to be more susceptible to these types of things. Playing the devil’s advocate…

    I think it’s entirely possible that violent video games were what triggered whatever gave this man the mental permission to do what he did to his mother. (What a horrific crime..). However, I doubt that the absence of violent video games would have changed this man’s story.

    Long story short: It could have been harry potter, it could have been star wars movies, it could have been a radio drama, it could have been theatre. For a minority of the population, no amount of fantasy is safe until they’ve been to therapy to rewire their brain, for lack of better terminology, not even fantasy within their own mind.

  11. Saxy says:

    lemme finish that for you:

     

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL.

  12. Mech says:

    "And 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."

    LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL

  13. jedidethfreak says:

    Say what you want about the judge being retarded (because he is), but you have to give him props for making the right call.  He gave him a life sentance.  The parole has to do with the kid’s father asking for leniancy.  Since he was a victim as well, the law requires the judge to consider the request.

    Besides, more often than not, murderers are out on parole, anyway.

     

    Freedom of speech means the freedom to say ANYTHING, so long as it is the truth. This does not exclude anything that might hurt someone’s feelings.

  14. Father Time says:

    It is my firm belief that judges that say things this incredibally stupid might not be suitable enough to be presiding over court.

    Although I wonder if he thought the kid had psychological problems why such a harsh sentence?

    It reeks of pure douchbaggery (either that or he’s lying when he says he thinks games caused this)

    —————————————————-

    Debates are like merry go rounds. Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  15. gamegod25 says:

    "It’s my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs."

    Well it’s my firm belief that you don’t know your head from your arse because thats a complete load.

    Why is it so hard to understand that some people are just ****ing crazy? It’s not like crazy people are a new thing, they’ve been around forever.

    You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna go to all the news networks and say that red bull turns people into killers. Then if someone asks why I’ll just say that’s what I belive and point out a fake study by a random university.

  16. Arcanagos says:

    This judge makes me sorry I live in Ohio…

    "Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of Heaven, Jack Thompson’ll justify it in the end." – nightwng2000

  17. GRIZZAM PRIME says:

    The judge is a weeny. It is my firm belief that I have perfect rock-hard abs and a 15 inch penis!

    God damnit, saying I believed it didn’t make it true…

  18. mogbert says:

    Lets see, if we take and change a few words, we would make a more believable sentance that itself has already been thrown out of court.

    "It’s my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that the ingestion of Twinkies can do the same thing…"

    Yes, his statement makes even more sense as the Twinkie Defence, and yet, that has been thrown out of court. If these games CAUSED that kind of physiological response, then it would be happening to MANY people. As it is, this would be about 1 in 8,100,000 (providing that absolutely no one has bought the game in the last year and a half since that number came out).

    Here is a news flash for these brain studies and brain dead judges. Everything you do creates a chemical and physiological response in the brain, that is how a brain works. If you see the color green, it creates a change so that your brain knows it is seeing green. If you lisen to classical music, it creates a response, if you see a pretty woman, it creates a response. If you are locked in a room, with no light, no sound, and no stimulus… it creates a response.

    In essence, he is stating that since eating a chemical can make a change, then obviously seeing something could create a similar change.

  19. JDKJ says:

    Can’t say I disagree, which is why I qualified my comment with the all-important "if he really thought and it could be proved . . . ."

  20. Conster says:

    He placed the gun in his dad’s hand afterwards, and when his sister and her husband showed up at the door, he tried to get them to leave by saying his parents had a big argument.

    Trying to make a double murder look like a murder/suicide != thinking they’ll be fine the next morning.

  21. Bennett Beeny says:

    The thing is, what person of sound mind would murder his parents in the first place?  I mean in this case it would have been as clear as day who did the killings, even if both parents had been killed.  This is clearly a case where a complete nutter went on a shooting spree.  Anyone who thinks this kid is sane has a screw loose themselves.

  22. FlakAttack says:

    I specifically remember a case where a young kid in elementary school brought a gun to school and shot another kid because he had stolen his pokemon card.

    This has nothing to do with the pokemon cards (if you think so… you need to see a doctor). This has everything to do with people not understanding the consequences of their actions. Or, possibly, this kid (and Daniel too) fully understood what they were doing… and did it anyway. I don’t know all the facts, so I won’t judge that. What I do know is that I have heard people kill others for even worse reasons, and it’s often because they are sick or they lack the values necessary to survive in modern society.

    Either way, these people have no place among normal citizens.

  23. Neeneko says:

    *nods* if the dillusion were the case, then he would have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, which ironicly could very well produce a longer sentance then what he got (in terms of parole at least).

    Still, there is always political backlash against judges to accept an insanity defense in any case that makes headlines, so judges tend to avoid it when they can.

  24. Tristram says:

    If he truely didn’t belive his parents would stay dead, then he was not of sound mind and should not be tried as a criminal but treated as a victim of an illness.

    The problem is more likely that he was a violent angry and slightly spoilt teen who was angry when his toy was taken away and, because we live in a culture where violence is a first reponse, he reacted in a violent manner.  If he had a skateboard or a card game or something like that taken away, the reponse would be focused on his spoiledness rather than the item taken away.

  25. Shahab says:

    I have been high out of my mind on a variety of drugs (I’m clean now) I’ve never once not realized that hurting or killing someone is bad and that death is permanent. I’ve played a crap load of games too, for hours on end sometimes when I was younger, and same deal.

    The judge obvioulsy has had little contact with video games, knows nothing about them, and hence fears them. If someone would sit down with this guy and play a few Wii games maybe he’d realize how assinine his comments were.

  26. Vake Xeacons says:

    Sounds to me like the Judge is in a "drug-like stupor."

    It’s this commentor’s belief that we don’t know enough about these legal cases…

    It’s my firm belief that after a while, the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to a this court of law can do the same thing…

    The other dangerous thing about these courts, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can sentence these murderers to prison, and they’re there again the next day. You have to incarcarate them again. And I firmly believe that Judge James Burge had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he laxed on the penalty, others would get off easy as well.

  27. Kerane says:

     If nothing else, it means he was getting no more than 6 hours of sleep a night and perhaps less, enough to make him sleep-deprived, I would think.

     

    Personally, i dont think " only 6 hours of sleep " would leave anyone sleep deprived.

     

    Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. In my younger years all i needed was around 4 hours a night, sleeping in like most folks do for me is impossible. These days, at almost 40 years old, I get by on 5-6 hours a night.

    Sleeping in for me means sleeping 7-8 hours, cant stay in bed for longer cuz i get a terrible headache if i do.

     

    To me, at this kids age, 6 hours sounds like plenty of sleep 🙂

  28. JDKJ says:

    This judge sounds like he wanted with a boner to take the kid’s insanity plea. I suspect that the law didn’t give him any wiggle room in which to do so or he would have in a heartbeat. The allegation, if true, that the kid was playing the game for 18 hours a day is hard to overlook. If nothing else, it means he was getting no more than 6 hours of sleep a night and perhaps less, enough to make him sleep-deprived, I would think. Of course, sleep-deprivation doesn’t automatically make one bat-shit crazy but it can make one do bat-shit crazy-like things. 

  29. hayabusa75 says:

    Easy there, cowboy.  Don’t forget it’s those same "old fuckers" that have helped us to a spotless record against video game legislation.  He’s entitled to his opinion, asinine as it may be, but he still found the kid guilty.

    "De minimus non curat lex"

  30. gamadaya says:

    Stop firmly believing stuff if you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. God, I hate judges so much. They’re a bunch of old fuckers who’ve been given way more power than they should ever have. The power goes to their heads, and they inevitably say shit like this.

    ——————————————————–

    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it! -Glenn Beck

  31. killatia says:

    I agree with with parole and not being able to fine a decent job after prison. The only way i could see parole being anygood is if theres a program that’ll help formal inmates get a livibe jobs. Then again most people would not want to help a guy that came from prison.

    As for the judge himself, good decision but don’t FUCKING BLAME VIDEO GAMES when it was obvious the kid planned to kill his parents from the start.

    http://www.magicinkgaming.com/


    http://www.killatia.com/

  32. chadachada321 says:

    The way the legal system is now, there’s no point in giving him a chance for parole. When he gets out of prison, there’s no way that he’ll ever be able to find a half-decent job, and will likely have to resort to crime to get by or to try and make his life more like it was prior to the killing. Then he’ll be right back in jail again.

    Prison is meant to a) encourage people not to commit crimes. With this case, when someone can get a chance for parole for premedidated murder like this, it isn’t showing any incentive for not killing someone when games can be used as an out. b) punish the person that committed the crime so that they don’t do the crime again. This part is fine and dandy, except that he’ll likely commit other crimes if he gets out on parole, because he’ll never have a chance at a normal life again. and c) If neccessary, remove the person from society if they are too large of a threat. This is what a life (or death) sentence is for. This should have been the sentence imposed, because as the legal system works now, there is little chance that this guy will be fine when he gets out of prison in 23 years.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  33. Arell says:

    Triple bullshit.  Seriously, that’s exactly my response to the article.  My only consolation is that they chose to convict him, rather than let him out on an insanity plea.

  34. JustChris says:

    So according to this quote, did Dan shoot his parents expecting them to be back the next day? Was the purpose of the killing just so that he can have fun shooting annoyances with his gun on a routine basis and nothing to do with the fact that he wanted his parents to be out of his life forever?

    GameSnooper

  35. sortableturnip says:

    "Petric gathered his unsuspecting parents in the living room and told them that he had a surprise for them and that they should shut their eyes. That’s when he pulled out his father’s gun and began shooting."

    I don’t remember THIS SCENARIO in Halo!

  36. ChrowX says:

    Agreed. I really hope the judge realized just how dumb that sounds after saying it. The guy is too old to not know the consequences of death and for the judge to honestly believe that playing video games several days prior would leave a person in a drug-like stupor where death isn’t death is just insane. Even drugs don’t work that way and I honestly question the credential and mental health of any person who knows so little about the human psyche.

    Murder will always be murder, regardless of what substance or media the person has been exposed to. You can’t let this idiot get off light because videogames were involved, the justice system isn’t supposed to work that way.

  37. Cecil475 says:

    "And 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."

    Bullshit.

     – Warren


    R.i.P GamePolitics 2005-2016

  38. Wormdundee says:

    Sorry dude, but that article in the second link is fucking ridiculous. Knocking him for having a ‘Stalinesque’ poster? (I don’t even really see the resemblance to the Stalin poster) The guy who wrote those stories is balls out nuts. 

  39. PHX Corp says:

    The judge in question(James burge) is noctoriously known for playing doctor during his court cases

    Watching JT on GP is just like watching an episode of Jerry springer only as funny as the fights

  40. thefremen says:

     Why is it that the judgement as written sounds like he was sentenced to a mental institution because he killed b/c of insanity? The Judge obviously believes a mental condition impaired his judgement.

  41. Neeneko says:

    So I guess that ‘common sense’ medical advice is recurring problem?

    Though TBH, I actually agree with his assement of the wounds in the first link.  While still abuse, that picture is not of significant tissue damage or even bruising.  From something flexable like a belt, I doubt there was any real damage, just a showy mark.

    Now, if that were from something rigid, I would be worried.

  42. DarkSaber says:

    That blog isn’t very good at hiding it’s bias. ESPECIALLY in the second link.

    The judge is still a moron though.

    ————————————————–

    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  43. JDKJ says:

    I’m not sure what the precise legal requirements of an insanity plea are in Ohio but, depending on the specific legal standard, it could take more than mere knowledge of what you’re about to do to invalidate an insanity claim. The legal standard is often framed as an inability to fully appreciate the consequences of the action. So, if he really thought and it could be proved that while he intended to kill his parents, he did so under the mistaken belief, owing to mental defect, that they would rise from the dead the next day and be perfectly fine once again, then he is legally insane and entitled to plea not guilty by reason of insanity.

  44. ShadowDragon28 says:

    The linked news article said he had both his parents in the living room and told them he had a surprise for them and made them shut their eyes. You seriously can’t tell me he didn’t fully realize what he was about to do.

  45. TBoneTony says:

    I have not problem with the decision, but I still am a little disturbed by the comments about Videogames and how they were portrayed.

    10 years after Columbine and there is still fear in those who understand so little about Videogames.

     

    Perhaps it is time those people who fear Videogames should just play Wii Sports or even pick up a copy of Brain Training on the DS so THEY can start all over again with Videogames by just being fun.

     

    I feel that the mainstreem media attention on Videogames has been nothing but fear from the start, and that is why there is still that parinoid phobia about Videogames with people who understand so little about them.

     

    But then again, when HAD the news media ever cared about informing people about what they SHOULD know about Videogames…nothing unless if it sells them the news of course.

     

    This will only cause people who love Videogames to abandon the news and mainstream media because they know the real truth that will never be told.

     

    And in the future with other things going on, people will suddenly realise when this Generation X and Y hit the political spectrum that the minstream news is nothing but sensationalism just to sell news for the sake of news. And nobody will ever want to watch the news or read the newspapers because you can only believe half of what you see and nothing about what you hear.

     

    That is the future that I can see though my eyes.

     

  46. finaleve says:

    I’ve had that fear myself as a kid.  Used to think about it many a night…probably explained why I didn’t sleep too well at some point.

  47. -Jes- says:

    (at age 23) Y-You mean.. The Tooth Fairy… Isn’t real?

     

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo…..

  48. Tristram says:

    I remember at an very early age having terrible fear because I knew death was permanent… if by his age he didn’t know… does he also believe in the easter bunny?

  49. doewnskitty says:

    I’m pretty sure most kids have some understanding of the concept of death by the time they’re 10.  He knew what he was doing, it was just that it was a stupid choice with grievous consequences.

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