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(CNN) - An Ohio gamer who participated in a fake phone call that led police to kill a man in Kansas was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison, authorities said.
Casey S. Viner, 19, was one of the three defendants in a case of 'swatting', which consists of reporting a false fact to send the police somewhere in order to make a heavy joke, which led to Wichita police to shoot and kill by mistake Andrew Finch, 28, at the front door of his house in December 2017.
Authorities said Viner asked one of the co-defendants to make the call due to an online videogame discussion, a discussion that turned out not even to have involved Finch.
Viner, from a suburb of Cincinnati, was sentenced in federal court in Wichita after pleading guilty to a conspiracy and obstruction of justice charge, the US prosecutor's office for Kansas said.
- They made 'swatting' (heavy joke that brings the SWAT to your home) to the young world champion of Fortnite during a live broadcast
"Swatting is not a joke, and it is not a way to resolve disputes between players," said federal prosecutor Stephen McAllister. "Once again, I urge players to monitor their community to ensure that the practice of 'swatting' ends once and for all."
The man who made the call, Tyler Raj Barriss of California, was sentenced earlier this year to 20 years in federal prison.
A discussion about a game led to the call
Viner admitted that he had argued with the third co-defendant, a player in Wichita, during a multiplayer “Call of Duty: WWII” session, authorities said.
Viner was upset that the Wichita player, a teammate during the session, killed his character in the game, according to a sworn statement from the police.
During their discussion, Viner threatened to hit the teammate, and the teammate responded by providing an address and saying, "Please try something," says the affidavit.
Viner then enlisted Barriss to commit 'swatting' against the Wichita player, using the address provided to him, authorities said.
It turned out that the address was not where the Wichita player currently lived, but where he used to live, authorities said. Actually, who lived in that direction was Fincher, ignorant of what was happening.
How the call and the shooting took place
On the night of December 28, 2017, a person who called 911 informed a telemarketer in Sedgwick County of Kansas about a shooting and possible hostage situation at Finch's address, police said.
Telemarketers reported that the caller said he shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and brother at gunpoint. The caller also warned that he wanted to kill himself and burn the house, authorities said.
Wichita police went to the house and surrounded her.
Finch left the house when police arrived and was shot, according to the United States prosecutor, when he dropped his hands at the time the officers were telling him to raise his arms.
Finch died in a hospital. The police did not find hostage or murder situations inside the house.
Investigators would later find out that the person who called 911 was Barriss, calling from Los Angeles through a Wichita number he acquired through a cell phone application, authorities said.
Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report that resulted in the death and dozens of other charges related to other calls in which no one was injured. His petition also covered the bomb threats Barriss made to the headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission in Washington.
The third co-defendant, the Wichita player, was put on deferred prosecution, McAllister's office said.
Viner's obstruction of justice charge is related to his attempt to erase the records of his communications with Barriss and the Wichita player, according to McAllister's office.
As part of his sentence, Viner was also ordered to pay $ 2,500 in restitution and serve two years of supervised freedom.
CNN's Steve Almasy, Melissa Alonso, Sheena Jones contributed to this report.