Two Colorado teens are being held on charges of child abuse resulting in death. The teens, Heather Trujillo (16) and Lamar Roberts (17), stated that they were reenacting the popular fighting game “Mortal Kombat” while babysitting Trujillo’s younger sister. After rough housing with the girl, she apparently died later that evening at the hospital.
This is just one more addition to an ever growing repertoire of incidents being blamed solely on video game violence. It’s not the parent’s fault for leaving their daughter home with two incompetent children who obviously don’t know the difference between right and wrong. It’s not the parent’s fault that the children that were babysitting were under the influence of alcohol. It’s not the parent’s fault for allowing them access to a game that is renowned for its depiction of violence. Not at all. It is Mortal Kombat’s fault, and Mortal Kombat’s fault alone that caused this death. Mortal Kombat killed little Zoe Garcia.
As absurd as that sounds, there are people who think like this, and not a year goes by where anti-video game advocates point the blame solely on games instead of looking at child upbringing. This is why millions of dollars have been spend getting the ESRB firmly into place. If the populace demanded a way to know what their children were playing, why aren’t they implementing it?
Games are not the enemy, as you very well may know. The culprit here is lazy, poor parenting. Read the full story below:
Two teenagers believed to be imitating the Mortal Kombat video game have been arrested and charged in the death of a 7-year- old Johnstown girl – a sister of one of the suspects.
Lamar Roberts, 17, of Westminster, and Heather Trujillo, 16, of Johnstown, were being held on $100,000 bail each at the Weld County Jail on Wednesday.
They were arrested Tuesday night after charges formally were filed that day by the Weld County District Attorney’s Office.
Each faces one count of child abuse resulting in death, a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the sentence can range from 16 to 48 years.
Roberts and Trujillo are being charged as adults. They are scheduled to make their first appearance in court Friday.
The teens were baby-sitting Trujillo’s sister, Zoe Garcia, on Dec. 6 while the sisters’ mother was at work.
They began wrestling and enacting a game of Mortal Kombat, court affidavits say. Zoe lost consciousness after being hit, kicked and body-slammed to the floor.
The documents say Trujillo told police she was on top of her sister “holding her arms down with her legs while tapping on her chest like a typewriter when the victim passed out.” Roberts was not wrestling but was acting “as the referee,” the affidavits say.
Trujillo said she sent Zoe to bed after she regained consciousness. When she checked on her about 15 minutes later, she was not breathing. Trujillo and Roberts tried to revive the girl in the shower and attempted CPR before calling the mother and then 911.
In an interview later at police headquarters, Trujillo said she tripped Zoe, “punched her in the stomach, karate chopped her lower arms, punched and pinched the victim’s thighs, kicked her in the shins, slapped her stomach and buttocks and poked at the victim’s chest.”
A witness quoted in an affidavit said Roberts told her he had kicked the girl and that his hands were “lethal weapons.”
The witness said Roberts performed a back kick and the girl didn’t get up. He said he and Trujillo “cracked an egg in her mouth . . . in an attempt to see if she was messing around with them” by faking unconsciousness.
The witness said she asked Roberts whether Zoe had asked them to stop. “Yeah, she told me to stop,” he said. Asked why he didn’t stop, he said, “I don’t know; I was drunk.”
Zoe was not breathing when police arrived. She died at North Colorado Medical Center.
Violent video games have been around almost as long as video games themselves.
Video games such as Mortal Kombat, Doom and Grand Theft Auto, which allow players to act out brutal violence, have sparked a heated debate regarding their effects on children.
In the case of teens Heather Maria Trujillo, 16, and Lamar Roberts, 17, they may have acted out the violence, hitting and kicking Heather’s 7-year-old sister, Zoe Garcia, last week in a game they called Mortal Kombat.
In 2000, the American Psychological Association released a report that specifically cited Mortal Kombat as a video game that can increase a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings and behavior.
Mortal Kombat is a video game, created by Midway, that allows players to choose a character and fight to the death using a variety of moves and weapons. Since the game’s inception in 1991, there has been opposition to the animated violence and blood.
The report, published in the APA Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, stated violent video games may be more harmful than violent TV and movies because they are interactive, engrossing and require the player to identify with the aggressor.