A federal judge in Los Angeles has relented and jurors next week will hear testimony that a St. Louis area teen-ager committed suicide after receiving a series of vicious fake Internet messages. The judge had appeared inclined to agree with the lawyer for 49-year-old Lori Drew of O’Fallon that mention of the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier would prejudiced the jury. Prosecutors, though, countered that mention of the suicide was integral to their case against Drew, even though they haven’t charged Drew with causing Meier’s death.
Drew is charged under an anti-hacking law with conspiracy and accessing computers without authorization. Prosecutors, in effect, claim Drew criminally violated the terms of service of the MySpace online social network, which is based in California.