Time seems to have stood still in Federal Judge George Wu's courtroom. Back in November Dean Steward, the lawyer defending Lori Drew, who was accused of harassing a young girl through a bogus MySpace account, filed for a dismissal. The “Rule 29” grounds were simple: The government had not put on any evidence showing Drew had even read the MySpace terms of service she was accused of violating, and had not participated sending in the fateful AOL Instant Message that apparently sent Megan Meier, a fragile 13 year old, over the edge to hang herself. (That non-MySpace message had been sent by a teenager who became a government witness enjoying immunity from prosecution.)

Dean Steward leads Lori Drew from court.

Photo: Ted Soqui

At the time (a Friday afternoon), Wu called a long trial recess to consider the

motion, igniting speculation that the case might get tossed before it

even reached the jury. Upon reconvening court, Wu said he needed the

weekend to think it over. Said weekend came and went — and, later, so

too did closing arguments and a jury decision that mostly ruled against

the government. Jurors found Drew guilty of only three misdemeanors,

and hung on one felony — which the government would later drop. After

Wu thanked and dimissed the jurors, Steward asked if the judge could

now rule on his dismissal motion — in effect, to vacate the

misdemeanor counts.

“I will think about that,” said Wu. “I have to digest the jurors' verdict.”


has come slow. At yesterday's hearing on dismissal motions, Wu said he

needed more time think over Steward's Rule 29 motion. As for when he

would get around to sentencing Drew, Wu did make a decision — April 30.

LA Weekly