Judge Says Video Games "Not a Defense" for Parents' Murder

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Halo 3 addiction doesn't explain or excuse Daniel Petric's shooting both his parents, says an Ohio judge. More specifically, video game addiction, which was never medically established during the trial, did not make Petric any less responsible for murdering his mother and wounding his father, according to the judge.

Petric is the teenager who shot both his parents after they took his copy of Halo 3 away in September 2007. Petric -- 16 at the time -- snuck out of the house through his bedroom window to buy the Xbox 360 game Halo 3 after his father forbade him to. He was caught returning home, the game was taken from him, and placed in a lockbox in his parents' closet that also housed a 9mm handgun.

A month later, Petric secured entry to the lockbox, took the game as well as the gun, and -- after asking his parents to "close [their] eyes" because he had "a surprise for [them]," shot them both, killing his mother and wounding his father. As his father lay wounded, Petric tried to slip the gun into his father's hand. He fled the scene after his sister and her husband arrived, taking the game with him.

Petric's lawyers insisted that the boy’s age and "video game addiction" made him less responsible, the insinuation being that Halo 3, a sci-fi shooter in which players battle hostile aliens, exerted an inexorable grip on Petric's ability to restrain himself from committing the incredibly heinous acts.

Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge's response? That's not a defense, and furthermore, there's evidence Petric "plotted the crime for weeks."

Next up: Sentencing, which carries a maximum of life in prison without parole.

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