Los Angeles suspect in 911 hoax faces felony in Kansas death

Tyler Barriss appeared in a Los Angeles court Wednesday, January 3, 2018 where he waived extradition to Wichita.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — 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.

He stood behind a glass wall dressed in black with his hands cuffed in front of him and provided brief answers to a judge’s questions, acknowledging he was the wanted man and voluntarily signed the waiver.

A California Judge asked Barris on Wednesday, “Did you read and understand all of the information contained on the form?”

Barriss only said “I did.”

The judge asked also asked if he freely signed the form and if he understands he is giving up the right to resist extradition to Kansas to face felony charges.

Barriss only replied, yes.

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.

A fugitive warrant filed in court said Barriss was charged with making a false alarm, which covers calling police or a fire department and knowingly giving false information. It’s a low-level felony in Kansas that carries a maximum of 34 months in prison, though other charges could be filed after Wichita prosecutors review the results of a police investigation.

A more serious potential state charge would be a 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.

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

In Kansas, the head of the Wichita police force said the department has no policy on such “swatting” calls.

Police Chief Gordon Ramsay has vowed this week there will be a full review of Finch’s death.

The goal of such hoax calls is to get a SWAT team to respond, although Ramsey said none of the officers at the scene were SWAT team members.

Ramsey said the officers who responded reported that Finch’s hands went up and down around his waistband before he was shot.

Ramsay called Finch’s death a “terrible tragedy.”

Sedgwick County Sheriff, Jeff Easter, says his office will take the Sedgwick County plane to California to pick up Barriss at some point in the next two or three weeks.

The Sedgwick County District Attorney’s office released a statement that confirms Barriss will now come to Kansas to face charges.


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