Just before 11 a.m. this morning Federal District Judge George Wu spoke the words that ended the weeklong MySpace Trial: “All right, let's bring the jury in.”
Within moments the panel announced to the packed court that it found Lori Drew only guilty
of three misdemeanors, while deadlocking on a count of felony
conspiracy. Drew, 49, had been charged with falsely setting up a
MySpace account to bully 13-year-old Megan Meier, whom she suspected of
bad-mouthing Drew's daughter, Sarah. Drew's account created a
handsome but fictitious character named Josh Evans. “Josh” toyed with Megan's
affections through the account and through AOL Instant Messaging; on
the evening of October 16, 2006, Megan, who had a long history of clinical depression, hanged herself after “Josh” dumped her.
Sarah Drew sat stone-still in court, a Chanel bag at her feet, while
she heard the clerk announce that her mother had dodged the most serious consequences of her actions. Today Lori
Drew entered the Federal Courthouse facing 20 years in prison and left
as Ms. DeMeanor, a woman now looking at three years behind bars and a
very real chance that the government won't pursue the conspiracy
charge. Drew had also sat impassively through the reading.
After the jurors were dismissed, Drew's attorney, Dean Steward, made one more
attempt to have all charges dismissed for lack of evidence — a Rule 29 motion
he'd been pressing since last Friday, only to be told repeatedly by
Judge Wu that the judge needed more time to think the matter over.
With the verdicts now in, Judge Wu's reply to Steward was not
unexpected: “I will think about that,” said Wu. “I have to digest the