Computer Crime Research Center


Jury to Hear About Suicide in MySpace Cyber-Hoax Trial

Date: November 16, 2008

Jurors in a cyber-hoax trial will hear evidence a Missouri woman's messages on MySpace provoked the suicide of a 13-year-old neighbor, a judge in Los Angeles ruled Friday.

U.S. District Judge George H. Wu denied a defense motion to exclude evidence that Megan Meier reacted to Lori Drew's messages in October 2006 by hanging herself.

Megan thought she was communicating with a cute 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans, who liked her but then suggested the world would be better off without her.

Wu had said he was leaning the other way because Drew is essentially charged with a form of hacking, not with causing suicide – although prosecutors say they need the suicide evidence to demonstrate intentional infliction of emotional distress.

But on Friday, Wu noted the case was just made the subject of an episode of Law &Order: SVU.

"It's impossible to get a jury that doesn't know," said Wu, who instead suggested attorneys focus on finding jurors not unduly influenced by what they might already know about the case.

Add comment  Email to a Friend

Copyright © 2001-2013 Computer Crime Research Center
CCRC logo