Juror: Defendant didn't expect Megan Meier to harm self

Monday, December 1, 2008 | 1:10 p.m. CST; updated 3:17 p.m. CST, Monday, December 1, 2008

NEW YORK — The jury forewoman in an Internet suicide trial said she didn't think the defendant, a Missouri resident, expected the teenage victim to harm herself after being subjected to an Internet hoax.

But the girl's mother said the defendant deserves whatever penalty she receives.

In a landmark cyberbullying trial, Lori Drew, 49, of O'Fallon, was convicted Wednesday in Los Angeles on misdemeanor federal charges of accessing computers without authorization.

Prosecutors said Drew and two others created a fictitious teenage boy on MySpace and sent flirtatious messages from him to neighbor Megan Meier, 13. The fictitious boy dumped Meier in 2006, telling her: "The world would be a better place without you."

Meier hanged herself.

The forewoman of the jury at Drew's trial told NBC's "Today" show, in an interview broadcast Monday, that she didn't believe Drew expected Meier to kill herself.

"I don't think she set out to — in any way, shape or form — have this girl commit suicide. No, I don't," forewoman Valentina Kunasz said on the NBC morning program. "But I think that in her knowledge of this girl having depression and suicidal tendencies, I think that she made poor judgment."

Meier's mother, Tina Meier, pointed out that Drew is an adult. "She knew what was going on," Tina Meier said on "Today." ''She allowed this to continue to happen."

She said she was disappointed that Drew was not found guilty of additional charges, "but that's something I can't dwell on."

"I don't know that justice will ever 100 percent be served," she said. "I can never bring Megan back, but my hope is through all of this ... it is about bringing justice."

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