Judge Delays Decision In MySpace Suicide Case
A federal judge postponed sentencing in the MySpace suicide case because he is still considering whether the jury's verdict against Lori Drew should stand.
U.S. District Court judge George Wu in Los Angeles said Monday he wanted to review the trial transcripts, and adjourned the case until July 2, according to Wired.
Last year, a jury found Drew guilty of three misdemeanor counts of accessing a computer without authorization. The jurors couldn't reach a verdict on a fourth, more serious charge of conspiracy.
The prosecution alleged that Drew committed computer fraud when she helped hatch a plan to create a fake profile of a boy, "Josh," who sent hurtful messages to 13-year-old Megan Meier. Megan, who had been friends with Drew's daughter, hanged herself after receiving a final message from "Josh" that the world would be a better place without her.
Drew herself did not send the messages or set up the account, according to the prosecution's chief witness, 20-year-old Ashley Grills, the former babysitter for Drew's daughter.
The government argued that Drew's actions amounted to computer fraud on the theory that she used an alias to sign up for an account -- which was a violation of MySpace's terms of service.
But Drew's lawyers, as well as outside groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, had argued that ignoring a Web site's terms of service doesn't violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act -- a statute aimed at penalizing hacking and identity theft.
At trial, it came out that Drew, a 50-year-old Missouri resident, had not set up the account herself, but was present when Grills created it.