It's been a year since we first wrote about Megan Meier, the 13-year-old driven to suicide after being tormented on MySpace by a grown woman posing as a made-up boy named Josh Evans. The trial of that woman, 49-year-old Lori Drew, began yesterday. Drew is being prosecuted in federal court for cyberfraud under a 2005 telecommunications law. The details of the first, highly emotional, day in court are after the jump, including heartbreaking testimony from Megan's mom, Megan's last words, and the prosecution's assertion that Lori "fully intended to hurt" Megan.
In his opening statement, prosecuting U.S. Attorney Thomas O'Brien said that Lori Drew created the fake persona of Josh Evans to find out whether Megan was spreading rumors about Drew's daughter, Sarah, CBS News reports.
O'Brien says Drew "fully intended to hurt and prey on Megan's psyche," and added thatshe "hatched a plot to prey on the psyche" of a 13-year-old she knew was "vulnerable, suicidal and boy crazy."
"One of her plans was to print out the conversations and take it to Megan's school and let people make fun of this depressed 13-year-old girl," O'Brien also said.
Megan's mom, Tina Meier took the stand. Reports CBS:
Meier said after a name-calling exchange between Megan, "Josh," and two other girls in October 2006, she told a sobbing Megan, who was being treated for attention deficit disorder and depression, that she wasn't supposed to be online and shouldn't have gotten into the argument. "The last words she said to me were 'You are supposed to be my mom, you are supposed to be on my side,"' Meier said as she tried to hold back tears.
According to the L.A. Times this was the final exchange between "Josh" and Megan. Josh: "The world would be a better place without you. Have a shitty rest of your life." Megan: "You are the kind of boy a girl would kill herself over."
Lori Drew's attorney claims she "shut down the profile when she learned that Meier was becoming romantically interested and hinting that she wanted to meet Josh Evans," Reuters reports.
Lori has pleaded not guilty to "one count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing computers without authorization. Each count carries a potential sentence of five years in prison," says CBS News.
From the L.A. Times: "Lori Drew, dressed in a sweater and looking every bit the Midwestern mom, sat expressionless at the defense table during much of the proceedings."
Dead Teen's Mom Testifies In MySpace Trial [CBS News] Woman Posed As Teen Online In Suicide Case: Attorney [Reuters] Jurors Told Of Girl's Suicide At MySpace Trial [LAT] Earlier: Are The Parents Who Myspace Tormented Megan Meier Ready To Atone? Um… Feds Take On Megan Meier Case, Hope To Charge Evil Mom With Crime