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Press Release

Defendant in Swatting Case Appears in Federal Court

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Kansas

WICHITA, KAN. Tyler Barriss, 25, Los Angeles, Calif., was arraigned in federal court in Wichita today on a superseding indictment charging him in connection with a Dec. 28, 2017, swatting incident in Wichita, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.

Barriss, who is being held on state charges in Sedgwick County District Court, including involuntary manslaughter, waived his right to a hearing on whether he could be released while awaiting trial on the federal charges. Trial in the state case is set for Jan. 7. Barriss is accused of making a hoax call to Wichita police. In the resulting confusion, police shot and killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch.

A superseding indictment filed in federal court charges Barriss with making false/hoax reports to emergency services, cyberstalking, making interstate threats, making interstate threats to harm by fire, wire fraud and conspiracy to make false/hoax reports. Also charged in the superseding indictment are co-defendants Casey Viner, 18, North College Hill, Ohio, and Shane Gaskill, 20, Wichita Kan.

Currently, the three defendants are scheduled for trial on the federal charges Nov. 6 before U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren, but the date is likely to change.

The FBI, the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office and the Wichita Police Department investigated. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister is prosecuting along with Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett.

In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.

Updated October 1, 2018