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Killer Convicted, Despite  GTA  Insanity Defense

Killer Convicted, Despite GTA Insanity Defense

August 10, 2005 | By David Jenkins

August 10, 2005 | By David Jenkins
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More: Console/PC

An Alabama jury considering the case of 20 year old Devin Moore for the murder of three police officers has rejected his insanity defense and claims that he was unduly influenced by Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

The jury deliberated for just over an hour before convicting Moore of capital murder, for which he could receive the death penalty. Defense lawyers had partly blamed Moore's actions on the hours he spent playing video games from the Grand Theft Auto series as well as post-traumatic stress disorder triggered by childhood abuse. Moore had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental defect.

The judge barred jurors from hearing testimony linking the 2003 shootings to the games, despite Moore's comments after his arrest that "Life is a video game; everybody has to die sometime." Prosecutor Lyn Durham said Tuesday that Moore knew what he was doing when he grabbed a patrolman's gun and killed two officers and a radio dispatcher. "And he knew it was wrong," she said.

A civil suit filed on behalf of the victims' families by notorious "anti-game lawyer" Jack Thompson is now expected to begin after sentencing is carried out. Wal-Mart and GameStop are both named in the suit, as well as Sony and publisher Take-Two Interactive.

"What we're saying is that Devin Moore was, in effect, trained to do what he did. He was given a murder simulator," said Thompson, who was recently named one of the American Civil Liberties Union's top 10 censors, in a "60 Minutes" interview.

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