In a Jacksonville courthouse yesterday, Alexandra V. Tobias, 22, pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree murder in the death of her 3-month-old son, Dylan Lee Edmondson. Her chilling motive: The boy was annoying Tobias while she was trying to play the highly addictive Facebook game Farmville. She was too busy tending to her cartoon cows and crops to deal with her very real child.
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Tobias told investigators that she shook the baby, smoked a cigarette to compose herself and then shook him again. She said the baby may have hit his head during the shaking.
She could face up to life in prison, but state guidelines in second-degree murder charges suggest a sentencing of 25 to 50 years.
Our sister paper, SF Weekly, recently ran a feature story about Zynga, the maker of Farmville and other highly addictive yet simple Facebook games. The game maker keeps a behavioral psychologist on staff to try to make the games as habit-forming as possible.