Is Brutal "Mortal Kombat Murder" Lacking the Mortal Kombat Part?

March 9, 2008 -
GamePolitics readers will likely recall the intense media coverage which attended the December slaying of 7-year-old Zoe Garcia.

The young Colorado girl's death at the hands of her stepsister, 16-year-old Heather Trujillo (left) and Trujillo's boyfriend, 17-year-old Lamar Roberts quickly gained notoriety as the "Mortal Kombat Murder" due to early reports that the accused killers executed video game-like martial arts moves on Zoe following a session of playing the well-known fighting game.

But a news report in yesterday's Greeley Tribune calls the Mortal Kombat aspect into question. Defendant Heather Trujillo's aunt and former stepmother both spoke to the newspaper:
Both Henry and Southern said Trujillo was never violent toward their children, and they never saw her use any Mortal Kombat moves. Southern said she thinks Roberts made up the Mortal Kombat story to look tough.

"Lamar changed her. He was a thief and not a very good person," Southern said.

While the Mortal Kombat angle appears to have come from comments made by Lamar Roberts to a police officer early on in the investigation, it subsequently became apparent that the victim and her accused stepsister were part of an extremely dysfunctional family.

Following Zoe's death, her mother, Dana Trujillo, was arrested on an old child abuse warrant from New Mexico. Social service records reveal 20 complaints of abuse directed toward Zoe, in both Colorado and New Mexico. A report based on one of those incidents expressed concern that Lamar Roberts was abusive to the child when intoxicated.

However, prosecutor Robert Miller stuck to the video game angle at a preliminary hearing on Friday:
Zoe Garcia was the object of abuse by both Heather Trujillo and Lamar Roberts caused these injuries with Mortal Kombat.

Comments

Another scapegoating strategy *sigh*. When will the people ever learn that blaming video games for violence is like blaming the paper you're writing on for misspelling your words.

@InHuman:


I agree with you on that, truly pathetic :/.

Did they shoot fireballs?

Well, it goes to show you that things are generally more complicated than they appear to be. As much as some people (JT) would like, you can't simply say, "video games made X person do Y action." Causation of behavior is more complex than that.

When will lawyers realize that this angle doesn't work? That it pretty much just makes them look like they are grasping at straws? Its obvious there is a history of family violence and drinking, its not hard to put two and two together.

Well the "brutal manhunt murder" lacked manhunt so it wouldn't surprise me.

I remember something similar where a kid truly accidentally killed another kid with a wrestling move. The lawyers tried to blame it on the WWE. It didn't work then, it won't work now.

It's so sad that a little girl's death at the hands of brutally abusive people will be turned into another political argument. Are we really that messed up as a society? Is anybody - even the parties playing the blame game - going to try and perhaps work towards bettering the social welfare and child protective services that could have prevented something like this from ever even happening? Here's hoping somebody will at least respect the memory of Zoe Garcia and not try and twist her death for their own selfish means... I know it's futile to ask something like that but hey, might as well try...

Clever

One thing I do love about people pointing at games as a cause of violent crime is that they miss a very important fact. Violent crime has been on the decline since 1994 (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/viort.htm). Homicide rates in all age groups has been on the decline since 1994, with the most decline seen in the 18-24 group (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/homage.htm). One thing the graphs don't show is that there has been a small increase in crime over the last 2 years, but this is thought, by sensible people, to be caused by the economy

They never bring this up, because if they did it would destroy their case. The only disturbing thing is in this graph (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/glance/cv2.htm). The purple line is the number of violent crime arrests, notice how it too has been decresting with the other lines. That should be going up.

If they are going to manipulate facts to say that games cause damage then I can too. The playstation was released Christmas of 1994, as was Doom 2. Therefore there is a direct correlation between violent video games increase in popularity and a decrease in violent crime.

I know that the real reasons are much more complicated, but if they want to simplify the facts and skew them to help themselves, then I will too.

wait the prosecutor does realize hes not suppose to establish the defense right?

Amen Sparky, people today almost require a source to blame things on so that they do not have to dig deep to find the true cause

Southern said she thinks Roberts made up the Mortal Kombat story to look tough.
---------

Really? To look tough? You just killed a defensless child, nothing can make that right or even worth bragging about..

Jesus..

Zoe Garcia was the object of abuse by both Heather Trujillo and Lamar Roberts caused these injuries with Mortal Kombat.


Shouldn't there be a "who" or "they" or something in there? Theory? could you help me out here?

So they beat her with the cd case?

wait . . .the prosecution is one the creating this alibi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

why hasnt this person been fired!!!!

this is actually worse than jack thomspon!!!
However, prosecutor Robert Miller stuck to the video game angle at a preliminary hearing on Friday:

Zoe Garcia was the object of abuse by both Heather Trujillo and Lamar Roberts caused these injuries with Mortal Kombat.

This reminds me of Columbine, A bunch of people blamed the shootings over some music group only to have one of the shooters' friends say, that they not only didn't listen to said group, but they hated said group.

It's almost like the Lionel Tate case, where Tate's attorney tried to blame WWE for the then-12-year-old Tate murdering a 6-year-old girl in cold blood, then it turned out on the appeal that Tate watched The Flintstones and Cow and Chicken instead of WWE Smackdown.

I remember something similar where a kid truly accidentally killed another kid with a wrestling move. The lawyers tried to blame it on the WWE. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.
Not too long ago, someone who was in the same school region as me died due to someone preforming a wresting like move. There were no law suits, no charges, anything. The parents didn't want anybody else's life ruin due to an accident. Why can't everyone live that way. If it was an accident, it was an accident. What justice do you get from charging them.

As for blaming Mortal Kombat, why? The combat in the game is barely marshal arts, and you can't really pick up anything from that game. I bet they is a marshal arts school within walking distance from where you live.

Maybe anti-video game activist were right about kids not telling the difference between fictional and reality. If these so called 'professional' adults can't, why would kids?

Sorry, the quote tags didn't work. The quote part was the first paragraph.
I remember something similar where a kid truly accidentally killed another kid with a wrestling move. The lawyers tried to blame it on the WWE. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now.

Anyone who does any research or has, I dunno, actually played Mortal kombat knows that the base me lee moves are borrowed from real world martial arts styles.

Now if he's holding that they shot spears from their hands or made an arcade machine fall form the sky, then the lawyer deserves to have his license yanked on the spot.

Delin -- "I remember something similar where a kid truly accidentally killed another kid with a wrestling move. The lawyers tried to blame it on the WWE. It didn’t work then, it won’t work now."

That would be because the autopsy showed the 6-year-old girl who was killed had far too many broken bones and contusions to have been caused by "one errant wrestling move" as was claimed by the killer. The killer, who was 12 or 13 when it happened, was tried as an adult and sent to prison for life. The Florida Supreme Court vacated the decision and set him free. He's since been in trouble with the law multiple times since then.

Basically, if it was the same incident we're thinking of, it was not an "accident."

@Dog Welder

I think it is. It's been a long time since I actually read anything about it, and didn't refresh my memory about it before posting. And in hind-sight, quotes around the 'accidentally' would have been more appropriate. Thanks for clearing me up though.

Same lie different story

"Zoe Garcia was the object of abuse by both Heather Trujillo and Lamar Roberts caused these injuries with Mortal Kombat."

...should i even HAVE to say it?

You can immitate anything if you choose, but a video game (or anything else) can't make you do anything you don't want to.Also, these people are fucking ADULTS! Take some God damn responsability for your own actions!

Mortal Kombat? When was the last MK game released? I don't remember seeing any new MK since the late 90s.

Also: They're clearly dangerous fuckheads who should stay in prison for the rest of time, preferrably subject to random electrical shocks or at least put in a place that smells like rotten oranges

@ Aliasalpha,

One came out on the wii, can't remember the name.

Mortal Kombat: Rehash?

Well I suppose if it uses the wii controller, thats perfect education for beating someone up...

Even if there is a link (eg. they were carrying out moves they only saw in the game) there is a big difference between playing and murdering...

This poor girl, already abused, was beaten to death by people she couldn't even fight back against. That's not "Mortal Kombat", that's cold blooded murder.

For the prosecutor to open the door for some sort of diminished culpability is criminal.

A needle is too good for these people.

Mortal Kombat Armageddon for Wii
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eNtveyhZMnU

Wait, "Mortal Kombat" is a verb now? As in "I will Mortal Kombat you"?

In retrospect, I think the likeness of the martial arts moves performed just kinda resembled a Mortal Kombat move by coincidence.

@JustChris

It would have been as Mortla Kombat borrows moves and stances from real world Martial arts.

Makes me wonder if the argument could be made that in situations like this, the truth of it is:
"I blame videogames because the media blames videogames."

Which would mean JT is promoting VG-linked violence in a strange sort of way. At least, in court claims.

@Shrike

Holy crap. That's it. Blaming video games gives people an excuse for murder.

Grizzam:
People think that murders can't do what they do without a third party.

Zoe Garcia was the object of abuse by both Heather Trujillo and Lamar Roberts caused these injuries with Mortal Kombat.

No, they caused those injuries with their own hands and wills. Plus given that Mortal Kombat, like many fighting games tends to borrow moves (particularly the ones that it's physically possible to duplicate) from real martial arts, you're basically saying that they caused injury with karate, kung fu, *insert one of a dozen martials arts and variants here*.

If a trained martial artist killed someone with their skilled, you'd be blaming them, not the martial art. So why is someone doing paltry imitations of a martial art not getting blamed?

Um, just wondering, but did the prosecutor evenfind out whether the accused had even ever PLAYED Mortal Kombat before deciding on that asinine course of action?

Not to mention how difficult it would be to cause any injuries with Mortal Kombat. Cartridge versions, maybe, but CDs don't do much damage.

@Coravin

Nope, making me guess he borrowed another lawyer's play book.

If you choose to immatate something, you're responsible.THE END.

and if you're insane enough to imitate something and kill someone, you should be killed for the good of the gene pool

Wait, why is the PROSECUTOR saying that Mortal Kombat made them do it? Miles Edgeworth this guy ain't.

I'm sorry...


Zoe Garcia was the object of abuse by both Heather Trujillo and Lamar Roberts caused these injuries with Mortal Kombat.


Caused the injuries with Mortal Kombat? What, did they hit her with the game box???

A 16 year-old who plays Mortal Kombat? Geeze, Donkey Kong or Defender would have been more credible...

If I remember the case correctly... what part of Mortal Kombat has you poor a raw egg down an unconcience persons throat? Or throw said unconcience person in the shower?

So what do you think is more "imitateable"? The faux martial arts in a stupid video game? Or the real life abuse against the same girl who died that was apparently perpetrated by their mother over the corse of at least a few years? The family apparently lived in three different states, had 20 reports of child abuse against the victum, and a WARRENT out for her arrest. You don't get one of those for a spanking.

But instead of a story about a young girl growing up seeing her mother abuse her little sister and doing so herself, they descide to blame a video game...

I am reminded of a newspost from the Penny Arcade site about a year ago (linked into my name). Basically, it could be said that this kid Roberts was proud of what he had done. Felt that taking a life was an exciting and badass thing he'd done, and wanted attention. With the media's current witch hunt on video games, how better to get more attention for the act than to spout off that "games made me do it"?

It is infinitely sad that Zoe Garcia died at the hands of her stepsister and her boyfriend. It is equally, if not more sad, however, is that the two girls were left with an abusive mother even after 20 previous reported issues (and that just on Zoe; who knows how many on Heather) and thus taught them that physical abuse was okay.

CPS should be ashamed of themselves.

@ Chalts :
"Wait, why is the PROSECUTOR saying that Mortal Kombat made them do it? Miles Edgeworth this guy ain’t. "

NOBODY is the awesomeness that is Miles Edgeworth.
Don't think about comparing the two.

"Not to mention how difficult it would be to cause any injuries with Mortal Kombat. Cartridge versions, maybe, but CDs don’t do much damage."

What about tipping a whole arcade cabinet over? Ouch!

Let me get this right....

If i roundhouse kick someone in the face and kill them, I can blame Chuck Norris?

What are "Mortal Kombat moves"? Kicks, punches, and body slams? Well if that's the case it's the games fault for sure. Endless stupidity is the age we live in people.
 
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