Tuesday, March 28, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Prosecutors Drop Felony Charge|In MySpace Suicide Prosecution

(CN) - Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have dropped the remaining felony charge against Lori Drew, whom a jury found guilty of three misdemeanors in a landmark cyber-bullying case in November. The jury could not reach a verdict on the felony charge. On New Year's Eve, prosecutors asked that it be dismissed. The felony charge claimed that Drew, 49, had intentionally caused emotional distress to a teenager who committed suicide.

The misdemeanors of which Drew was found guilty were for accessing a computer without authorization.

The case drew international headlines after Megan Meier, 13, hanged herself in October 2006 in her home in Dardenne Prairie, 40 miles west of St. Louis. Meier committed suicide after receiving hurtful messages on MySpace.com from a person who she thought was a boy. The boy turned out to be a fictitious being, allegedly created by Drew, her daughter and one of Drew's employees, to find out what Meier was saying about Drew's daughter online.

Drew faces 3 years in prison and a $300,000 fine for the misdemeanors. Her sentencing date has not been set. She is likely to get probation under federal guidelines.

Drew's lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss all of the charges against her, something that U.S. District Judge George Wu may rule on at a Jan. 8 hearing in Los Angeles. Wu has the authority to throw out the jury's verdict.

Read the Top 8

Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.