According to the Associated Press, a federal probation office report will recommend that Lori
Drew receive probation for the three misdemeanor computer-fraud charges on which she was convicted last November. Drew is the so-called MySpace Mom whose online creation of a fictitious teenage boy has been blamed for in the suicide of an impressionable 13-year-old girl.
Federal prosecutors are expected to counter that proposal with a stiffer sentence, possibly involving prison time, but the probation office's recommendation definitely poses a problem from U.S. Attorney Tom O'Brien, who last year took the unusual step of personally prosecuting Drew in a federal case that some court experts thought shaky at best. Drew was never charged with liability in the death of young Megan Meier, although O'Brien -- who is frequently mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for California Attorney General -- may have gambled that the compelling tragedy of Meier's suicide would be enough to persuade a jury to convict Drew on felony conspiracy charges.
At the time of the jury's split verdict Drew's lawyer, the low-keyed
but effective Dean Steward, asked Judge George Wu to throw out Drew's
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misdemeanor convictions completely. In one of the case's ongoing
comedic set pieces, Wu -- never known for his decisiveness -- has yet
to rule on that five-month-old motion. Drew's sentencing is scheduled
for May 18.