ELYRIA aEU" Daniel Petric was so angry that his father would not allow him to play the violent video game Halo 3 that he killed his mother and shot his father, then tried to make it appear to be a murder-suicide, prosecutors told a Lorain County judge this morning in the boy's murder trial.
Petric, now 17, had sneaked out of his house to buy the game. But his parents caught him as he came in with the game and took it from him. His father, Mark, put the game in a lockbox in the parents' closet. He also kept a 9 mm handgun in the box, according to prosecutors.
Daniel Petric took the gun and the game out of the box, they said.
The case is being tried to a Lorain County Common Pleas judge instead of a jury at the request of Daniel Petric.
Marvin Fong/Plain DealerDaniel Petric
Mark Petric, who is a minister at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, testified that before the shooting on Oct. 20, 2007, his then-16-year-old son came into the room with a question:
"Would you guys close your eyes," Daniel Petric asked. "I have a surprise for you."
Mark and Susan Petric
Mark Petric said he expected a pleasant surprise. The next thing he knew, his head went numb. He had been shot in the head.
Susan Petric, 43, died of gunshot wound to the head.
He said the next thing he remembers is his son shoving the gun in his hand and saying, "Hey Dad, here's your gun. Take it."
Mark Petric broke down on the witness stand as he explained how he survived the shooting. His daughter and her husband came to the house to watch an Indians game. He heard his son telling them they couldn't come in.
"You can't come in," Mark Petric recalled his son saying. "You guys shouldn't come in. Mom and Dad had a big argument."
Mark Petric said all he could do was make a guttural yell for help.
Mark Petric was allowed to visit his son in jail over the past year. He said his son has apologized.
"Dad, I'm so sorry for what I did to Mom, to you and to the family," Daniel Petric said, according to his father. "I'm so glad you are alive."
"You're my son," Mark Petric responded. "You're my boy."
Mark Petric said his son told him he could hardly live with the guilt over what he did.
"He would cry, and I would cry," Mark Petric told the judge.
He said Susan Petric and their son had a very close relationship.
"He was always her little boy," Mark Petric told the judge.
Daniel Petric's lawyers also gave a short opening statement to the judge. They said their client had been under great stress because of a snowboarding accident that resulted in a severe staph infection.
He was homebound for a year with nothing to do but watch television and play video games.
"Small service is true service while it lasts. Of humblest friends, bright creature! scorn not one
The daisy, by the shadow that it casts,
Protects the lingering dewdrop from the sun." -------William Wordsworth