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They say online games like Farmville are addictive. They also say that nothing compares to a mother's love. Sadly in the case of Alexandra V. Tobias, one of them had to give, and it wasn't Farmville.
Tobias, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder after shaking her baby to death. The Florida Times Union reports that Tobias became angry, shook the baby, smoked a cigarette to compose herself and then shook the baby again. She said the baby might have hit his head on something in the process.
The Jacksonville mother was arrested after the January death of Dylan Lee Edmondson, who was 3-months-old at the time of his death. She admitted to police that she became angry with Edmondson because he was crying, which was interrupting Farmville, a game she was playing on her computer.
Farmville, made by a company called Zynga, is immensely (and incomprehensibly) popular and is available on the web and on sites like Facebook. Players of the game create a virtual farm and tend to it.
The mother here was charged with second degree murder -- the middle ground between voluntary manslaughter and first degree murder. It can generally be defined as an intentional killing that is not premeditated nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion," or, a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life. Just so you know, interruping Farmville is not a legally satisfactory provocation that would make the case a manslaughter.
Tobias could face up to life in prison after her guilty plea. According to prosecutor Richard Mantei, Tobais is more likely to face 25 to 50 years under state criminal law guidelines.
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