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Friday, February 18, 2011

Auto-Correct Kills Man

33-year-old Neil Brook insists he was trying to be silly when he sent a text message to 27-year-old Joseph Witkowski, calling him a "nutter" (a mildly derogatory term), but his phone's auto-correct function changed the word to "mutter," a highly offensive term. A heated exchange over text ensued, escalating to the point that Witkowski physically came to Brook's house and attacked him. By the end of the fight, Witkowski had suffered over 100 stab wounds and died.

While a jury cleared Neil Brooks of murder, they found him guilty of the lesser charge, manslaughter. Key to the trial was the fact that Brooks had taped knives near his front and back doors in anticipation of the fight. Brooks claims Witkowski lunged at him when he opened his door to him, and had a knife of his own.

The two had only known each other for about six months. Regardless of all else, it sounds pretty clear to me that Witkowski was, in fact, crazier than a shithouse rat.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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