FAYETTE, Ala. – A 20-year-old whose lawyers claimed the video game "Grand Theft Auto (search)" and childhood abuse caused him to kill three small-town police officers was convicted Tuesday of capital murder.
The jury deliberated for just over an hour before convicting Devin Moore (search).
Jurors were to return Wednesday to begin the sentencing phase. Moore could face the death penalty.
Defense lawyers had 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.
His family and friends left court without comment, while the victims' relatives and friends gathered to hug and thank prosecutors.
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. (search), parent company of "Grand Theft Auto" manufacturer Rockstar Games, did not immediately return calls Tuesday seeking comment.