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Jury rejects Grand Theft Auto claims in cop-killer case

A jury in Alabama has convicted a 20 year old man of capital murder, rejecting his plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect after he claimed that his actions were influenced by playing Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto games.

A jury in Alabama has convicted a 20 year old man of capital murder, rejecting his plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect after he claimed that his actions were influenced by playing Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto games.

Devin Moore, aged 18 at the time, killed three police officers after grabbing a patrolman's gun before fleeing in a patrolman's car, and reportedly told officers after his arrest that "life is a video game - everybody has to die sometime."

Lawyers defending the killer used this phrase as a key part of their case, claiming that the hours Moore had spent playing Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City had influenced him to the extent where he was left with diminished responsibility for his actions.

However, the jury in the case completely rejected these claims - agreeing with prosecutor Lyn Durham, who argued that Moore was fully aware of what he was doing, and "knew it was wrong."

Moore may now face the death penalty - but his victim's families are apparently not prepared to let the videogames issue rest despite the decision of the jury, and are filing a civil suit against GTA publisher Take Two Interactive and two retailers.

The case is the latest in a long line of legal actions taken against game publishers after crimes allegedly influenced by videogames - many of them involving outspoken and censorious Florida based lawyer, Jack Thompson - but as yet, no court has ruled in favour of the plaintiffs in any of these cases.

Author
Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.