Although she wanted felony convictions, Tina Meier hopes the case that ended in misdemeanor verdicts serves as a deterrent

By Howard Breuer
Updated November 26, 2008 05:10 PM

Although she wanted felony convictions, the mother of a girl who killed herself in a MySpace hoax says she hopes the case will serve as a deterrent to cyber-bullies.

“This has been a victory,” Tina Meier, the 38-year-old mother of Megan Meier, told reporters Wednesday after a jury found her former neighbor, Lori Drew, guilty of three misdemeanors for posing as a 16-year-boy flirting online with Megan.

Meier, whose 13-year-old daughter hung herself after the fictional boy rejected Megan, says she wants the judge to give Drew the maximum penalty of a $300,000 fine and three years in a prison for women. Drew’s attorney, H. Dean Steward, says he will ask for probation.

“I don’t want another family to go through what I’ve had to endure,” Meier says.

She says she would have preferred that the jury deliver felony convictions on all counts, which would have exposed Drew to a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. She calls the misdemeanor convictions on the computer charge as “a stepping stone.”

“Megan’s legacy continues to go on,” Meier says. “Hopefully, this will prevent similar things from happening to other people.”

She adds that the verdict has not given her closure, and nothing ever will. “This day is not any harder than the day I found Megan (dead),” Meier says.