the inspiration?The alleged leader of Oakland street gang the Nut Cases was sentenced to 75 years to life by Alameda County Superior Court on Friday. Gregory Colbert and five others, who entertained a puzzling fixation with Planters' Mr. Peanut and enjoyed hazy sessions of Grand Theft Auto III, have been linked to a series of murders and armed robberies that terrorized Oakland in late 2002, and lasted until the Nut Cases were rounded up in January 2003.

San Francisco Chronicle's continued coverage of the case suggests that the Nut Cases imitated the violent acts they'd repeatedly carried out in the virtual world of GTAIII. It's unclear if this "explanation" was offered up during the trial by the defense. But, if GTA could actually induce violent sociopathic behavior, then we'd have a worldwide crisis on our hands. We're talkin', like, tens of millions of Nut Cases!

[Via GamePolitics]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.