Daniel Petric

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Daniel Petric (born August 24, 1991) is a convicted murderer from Wellington, Ohio. At the age of 16, Petric shot both of his parents over a disagreement about video games. His mother was killed and his father was badly injured, but recovered.[1]

Background[edit]

The controversy between Daniel and his parents began when they forbade Daniel from buying and playing the Xbox 360 game Halo 3. Petric’s sister, Heidi Petric, testified in court that Daniel never played the game until he contracted a staphylococcus infection from a jetski injury and was housebound.[2] Petric was introduced to the Halo franchise while at the house of his friends, the Johnsons.[3] His father, Mark Petric, was a minister at the New Life Assembly of God in Wellington.[2] Both parents objected the idea of their son playing a violent game with adult ratings and did not find it suitable for him. Mark testified that Daniel sneaked out of the house one evening and purchased the game without either parent’s knowledge.[2] While housebound, Daniel would sometimes play the game for up to 18 hours at a time without taking a break.[3] After his parents found out that he had gone against their wishes and purchased the game, they immediately took the game away and locked it in a safe that also incidentally concealed a 9mm Taurus PT-92 handgun.[2]

Shooting[edit]

About one week after the game was taken away from Daniel, on October 20, 2007, Daniel used his father’s key to unlock the safe and take back his game. Daniel also took his father’s 9mm Taurus handgun along with the game. Court reports stated that Daniel came up behind his parents and said “Would you close your eyes, I have a surprise for you.” Daniel then proceeded to shoot both of his parents.[3] His father said that “his head went numb and he saw blood pouring down from his skull.” [2] Daniel shot his mother in the head, arms, and chest, killing her. In court his father testified that after Daniel shot both of his parents, he then stated “Hey dad, here’s your gun. Take it.” so he could make it look like a suicide.[2] A few minutes later his sister and her husband, Heidi and Andrew Archer, came over for their prior plans of watching a baseball game together. Daniel told them that they shouldn’t come in because their parents had been fighting. Then they heard groaning and pushed their way through to find the aftermath of the shooting. Heidi called the police, and when they got there they found Daniel in the front seat of the family’s van, with the Halo 3 game in the passenger seat.[2]

Trial[edit]

Daniel’s trial was held on December 15, 2008 at Lorain County Common Pleas in front of Judge James Burge.[3] No jury was present at the trial. Daniel’s defense attorney, James Kersey, claimed that because of the enormous amount of stress put on him due to his severe staphylococcal infection, Daniel was much more susceptible to being influenced by the game.[3] He argued that Daniel was not in the right state of mind to understand the finality of shooting his parents. He had been playing the game so long that he did not comprehend the fact that death was real and permanent. The prosecuting attorney disagreed, and said that Daniel showed no remorse for his actions and that he had tried to set up the shootings as suicide by placing the gun in his father’s hand.[3] Daniel was tried for murder.

Due to his age, Daniel could not have been sentenced to death. The judge sentenced Daniel to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 23 years.[2][4]

The case has been highlighted in papers and articles regarding video game addiction and video game violence.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peckham, Matt (March 2009). "Games No Murder Defense". PC World 27 (3): 16. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Caniglia, John (2009-06-17). "Wellington teen Daniel Petric gets 23 years for killing mom, shooting dad". Plain Dealer Reporter. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Turner, Karl (2008-12-16). "17-year-old accused of killing mother over Halo 3 video game may get verdict soon". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  4. ^ http://www.cleveland.com/crime/index.ssf/2009/06/lorain_county_teen_who_killed.html
  5. ^ Newel, David, "The Negatives of Video Games on Society", in Clemens, Tyler, Ethics Project, Rogaway, retrieved 2010-03-31