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MySpace suicide: Teen's mom testifies

November 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Gripping testimony Thursday in the Los Angeles trial of a Missouri woman accused of an Internet hoax that led to a teenage girl's suicide. The landmark trial wrapped up day two of testimony Thursday.Two main witnesses, the defendant's neighbors, testified on the stand Thursday afternoon. First, a 15-year-old girl talked about her involvement in sending messages to Megan Meier posing as a boy named Josh Evans. Then a 20-year-old woman who is the defendant's assistant testified that she sent most of the messages to Megan, and that the defendant knew about it all.

Ashley Grills, 20, was on the stand Thursday afternoon. Grills is a family friend and assistant to the defendant, Lori Drew. Grills testified under protection of immunity that she was the one who created the fake MySpace profile in Drew's home office and sent the last message -- "The world would be a better place without you" -- to 13-year-old Megan Meier, who committed suicide later that day in Missouri.

Grills testified that under the direction of the defendant, and with the help of the defendant's teenage daughter, she created the bogus MySpace profile of the boy named "Josh Evans" out of thin air.

Forty-nine-year-old Lori Drew is accused of misrepresenting her identity on MySpace with ill intent, violating the Computer Use and Fraud Act.

Grills said Thursday the defendant thought the idea of toying with Megan on the Internet was "funny."

Megan's mother, Tina Meier, finished up testimony Thursday morning. Wednesday she said her daughter was taking antidepressants and suffered low self-esteem.

Grills was on the stand late Thursday afternoon being cross-examined by defense attorneys.

The trial is being held in Los Angeles instead of Missouri because MySpace servers are located in L.A.

If Drew is convicted on all counts, she faces 20 years in prison. The jury could get the case as early as next Monday.

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