Murder conviction for teen in 'Halo' case

Daniel Petric, 17, faces up to life in prison for killing his mother and injuring his father after they took away his copy of the Xbox 360 game.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
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Caroline McCarthy

A teenage boy in Ohio has been convicted of murdering his mother because she took away his copy of the video game Halo 3, and now faces the possibility of life in prison.

Daniel Petric, 17, shot both his mother and father in October 2007 with a handgun after what was potentially "weeks" of planning, according to the Associated Press. His father survived, but his mother died of a wound to the head. Petric's defense attorneys had argued that he was not guilty by reason of insanity, claiming that he was dangerously addicted to Halo 3. Petric was tried as an adult in the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas.

The American Medical Association has considered classifying video game addiction as an officially designated psychiatric disorder. Gaming advocates have taken issue with this, some claiming that it will add to negative perceptions of gamers and unnecessary regulation.

Daniel Petric, according to the AP, tried to stage the murder scene as a murder-suicide by placing the gun in his father's hand. He then fled the scene with reportedly nothing but the copy of Halo 3.

The judge in the case, James Burge, did not deny that Petric may have been rendered mentally unstable by the Xbox 360 game. "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," Burge said in his court ruling.