Judge defers decision on dismissing Lori Drew cyber-bullying convictions

A judge listened to arguments Thursday for and against dismissing the convictions of Lori Drew in a nationally watched cyber-bullying case — but did not rule.

“The bottom line is we are no further along in this process than we were yesterday,” said Drew’s lawyer, Dean Steward, after the hearing in federal court in Los Angeles.

District Judge George H. Wu set Drew’s sentencing for April 30 without indicating how he will rule on a motion to override the three misdemeanor convictions.

He also did not act on the prosecution’s motion to dismiss a pending felony conspiracy count on which jurors deadlocked Nov. 26. That day, the jury found Drew guilty of the misdemeanors, acquitted her of three felony counts and could not decide on the conspiracy charge.

Wu promised to rule before sentencing.

Drew, 49, of O’Fallon, was accused of criminally violating terms of service for the California-based MySpace social network. Officials said she was responsible for hateful messages sent under a fictitious boy’s name to Megan Meier, a rival of her daughter and neighbor in Dardenne Prairie. Megan Meier hanged herself in 2006.

The defense insists that prosecutors did not prove a crime occurred.

The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles acted after federal and state prosecutors in the St. Louis area had examined the circumstances and found no applicable charges.

If the misdemeanor convictions stand, Drew is likely to receive probation. Court officials will begin a pre-sentencing investigation of her background now that the judge has set a sentencing date.

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