Suspect in deadly 911 hoax has history of making phony calls

Published: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 2:04 PM
Updated: Wednesday, January 03, 2018 @ 2:03 PM


            Tyler Barriss appears for an extradition hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Los Angeles. Barriss, accused of making a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of a Kansas man, told a judge Wednesday he would not fight efforts to send him to Wichita to face charges. (Irfan Khan /Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)
Tyler Barriss appears for an extradition hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, in Los Angeles. Barriss, accused of making a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of a Kansas man, told a judge Wednesday he would not fight efforts to send him to Wichita to face charges. (Irfan Khan /Los Angeles Times via AP, Pool)

A Los Angeles man suspected of making a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of a Kansas man told a judge Wednesday he would not fight efforts to send him to Wichita to face charges.

Tyler Barriss, 25, was held without bail after waiving his right to an extradition hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Barriss stood behind a glass wall dressed in black with his hands cuffed at his waist and provided brief answers to a judge's questions, acknowledging he was the wanted man and had voluntarily signed the waiver.

Police have said Andrew Finch, 28, was shot after a prankster called 911 last week with a fake story about a shooting and kidnapping at Finch's Wichita home.

Barriss has been charged in Kansas with making a false alarm, according to court papers. The charge for calling police or a fire department and knowingly giving false information is a low-level felony in Kansas that carries a maximum of 34 months in prison.

Other charges could be filed after Wichita prosecutors review the results of a police investigation.

A more serious potential state charge would be second-degree murder for unintentionally causing a death by reckless actions, said Elizabeth Cateforis, a law professor at the University of Kansas. That can carry a sentence of up to about 20 years.

Another option may be an involuntary manslaughter charge in which a death is caused by a person acting recklessly or in the commission of another felony. That carries a maximum sentence of a little over 10 years.

Barriss has a history of making bogus calls to authorities. He was released from the Los Angeles County jail last year after serving less than half of a two-year and eight month sentence for phoning in two fake bomb threats in 2015 that cleared out the KABC-TV studio in nearby Glendale.

Glendale police who investigated the bomb scare found about 20 other incidents where Barriss had phoned in threats to universities and media outlets around the country, Sgt. Dan Suttles said Wednesday. The FBI assisted those investigations, but deferred to state prosecutors, spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

In the Wichita case, police have characterized the phony call as a case of "swatting" in which callers try to get a SWAT team to respond to a bogus report.

The caller who phoned Wichita police said in a relatively calm voice that he had shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and a sibling at gunpoint, according to the 911 recording. He said he poured gasoline inside the home and "might just set it on fire."

When Finch came to the door, police said he moved a hand toward his waistband and an officer, fearing he was reaching for a gun, fired a single shot and killed him. Finch was unarmed.

The hoax call reportedly was made after a dispute over a small wager online in a "Call of Duty" online video game tournament, according to Dexerto, a news service focused on gaming.

Finch's mother has said her son wasn't a video game player.

Kansas authorities have to pick up Barriss by Feb. 2, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Deborah Brazil said.

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Hegeman reported from Wichita, Kansas.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that a fugitive charge was filed in Los Angeles court and to identify the Wichita police chief as Gordon Ramsay instead of as Gordon Ramsey.

2018 SAG Awards: Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, complete list of winners

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 8:18 PM

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21:  Statue of the Screen Actors Guild Actor is seen at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_009  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner Image)
Dimitrios Kambouris
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Statue of the Screen Actors Guild Actor is seen at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_009 (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner Image)(Dimitrios Kambouris)

Hollywood stars honored television and cinematic performances at the 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Sunday. 

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Morgan Freeman honored with lifetime achievement award at SAG Awards

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:43 PM

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21:  Honoree Morgan Freeman accepts the Life Achievement Award from actor Rita Moreno onstage during the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_010  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner Image)
Christopher Polk
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Honoree Morgan Freeman accepts the Life Achievement Award from actor Rita Moreno onstage during the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. 27522_010 (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for Turner Image)(Christopher Polk)

Legendary actor Morgan Freeman was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards — one of the most prestigious honors in the entertainment industry — which was given to him by longtime colleague and friend Rita Moreno.

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“Morgan is way more than just an actor, narrator, producer, humanitarian. This man is a national treasure,” Moreno said.

When he came to the stage, the 80-year-old icon traded a few playful jokes with Moreno, before moving on to the thank you’s.

“These moments in one’s life usually will call for an entire litany of thank you’s. I can’t do that because I don’t know all of your names, so I won’t try,” said Freeman. “This is beyond honor. This is a place in history.”

But towards the end of his speech, Freeman commented on the SAG award statue: 

“I wasn’t gonna do this, but I’m gonna tell you what’s wrong with this statue,” he said. “It works from the back. From the front, it’s gender-specific. Maybe I started something.”

Former Disney star Orlando Brown arrested after family disturbance, police say

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 7:11 PM

Orlando Brown. (Photo: Barstow Police Department)
Orlando Brown. (Photo: Barstow Police Department)

Former Disney Channel star Orlando Brown was recently arrested following what authorities say was a violent altercation at an apartment in California.

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The 30-year-old “That’s So Raven” actor was reportedly engaged in a dispute with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s mother when an officer from the Barstow Police Department arrived on the scene at around 8 a.m. Thursday.

The officer realized there were active arrest warrants on Brown and his girlfriend’s mother, so they were both arrested and booked into the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Barstow Jail, according to a police press release.

Brown’s bail was set at $25,000.

He previously served time in 2013 after failing to complete court-ordered alcohol education classes in connection with a previous DUI arrest.

John Coleman, The Weather Channel founder, dead at 83

Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 5:39 PM

CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo,  John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83.  (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)
Marty Lederhandler/AP
CORRECTS THAT COLEMAN IS AT RIGHT, NOT LEFT - In this July 30, 1981 photo, John Coleman, weather channel founder, right, and Frank Batten, publisher of the Norfolk, Va., Virginian-Pilot and Ledger-Star, and chairman and chief executive of Landmark Communications, Inc., are seen during a news conference in New York. John Coleman, the founder of The Weather Channel and longtime KUSI weatherman, died Saturdaty night, Jan. 20, 2018, at home in Las Vegas, said his wife Linda Coleman. He was 83. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler, File)(Marty Lederhandler/AP)

John Coleman, who helped found and develop The Weather Channel, died Saturday at his home in Las Vegas. He was 83.

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Coleman, a longtime weatherman, innovated the position when he started at Good Morning America, according to the Washington Post. 

Coleman started The Weather Channel in 1981 with Joseph D’Aleo. Coleman left the network and continued forecasting on stations in New York and Chicago. He last worked in San Diego until he retired in 2014, according to the Washington Post

The Associated Press contributed to this report.