FAYETTE, Ala.- Lawyers for a 20-year-old accused of fatally shooting three members of a small-town police department claim the video game "Grand Theft Auto" and childhood abuse caused him to kill.
Devin Moore is charged with capital murder and could face the death penalty if convicted. The jury heard closing arguments Tuesday and began deliberations.
Defense lawyers have partly blamed Moore's actions on the hours he spent playing video games from the "Grand Theft Auto" series, in which players shoot police officers and steal cars.
While the judge barred jurors from hearing testimony linking the 2003 shootings to the game, defense lawyer Jim Standridge reminded them that Moore, after his arrest, told police "Life is a video game; everybody has to die sometime."
Moore had pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental defect.
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.
Officers had taken Moore to police headquarters for booking on a stolen auto charge. Authorities said Moore, who was 18 at the time, grabbed one of the officer's guns and fatally shot all three victims in the head before fleeing in a patrol car.
The victims' families have filed a civil suit against the video game manufacturer and two stores, claiming Moore killed the three after repeatedly playing "Grand Theft Auto III" and "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City." No trial date has been set in the civil lawsuit.
A spokesman for Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., parent company of "Grand Theft Auto" manufacturer Rockstar Games, did not immediately return a call Tuesday seeking comment.