Should MySpace carry a health warning?
A short while ago I wrote about Megan Meier who tragically committed suicide after becoming a victim of a MySpace hoax.
Now, a new MySpace hoax may have led to murder!
In Riverhead, New York, a 53 year old man, John White, is on trial for killing a friend of his son.
John White is charged with killing 17 year old Daniel Cicciaro on August 9, 2006, outside his Long Island home after a heated argument with Cicciaro and a group of his friends.
Cicciaro died later that night after allegedly being shot in the face by White who is charged with second-degree manslaughter.
With White being of African-American descent, claims that the incident may have been about racism and revenge have emerged.
White, however, claims that he was simply protecting his family from a white lynch mob and that his gun discharged purely by accident.
Prosecutors in the case disagree though.
They say that White should have called the police, instead of choosing to confront the boys himself, armed with a .32-calibre Beretta.
Riverhead police say that the incident was prompted by a hoax, issued from White’s son’s MySpace page.
Aaron White, 20, allegedly sent a message, threatening rape, to a teenage girl who was a good friend of Daniel Cicciaro.
On the evening that Cicciaro died, he was at a party with that same girl when they spotted Aaron White.
It is believed that Cicciaro then became angry, and White was asked to leave.
Aaron White, however, testified that after he left the party, Cicciaro and another man called him on his cell phone, saying to him, “Get back to this party you ni**er.”
Aaron then says that he went home, only to receive more calls from Cicciaro and his friends, informing him they were going to come to his house to kill him.
At that point he awoke his father, who then grabbed his Beretta and waited for Cicciaro and the other boys to arrive.
After Cicciaro’s death, it emerged that the rape threat that ignited the confrontation was false.
Under testimony, Aaron White’s friend, Michael Longo, admitted that he had logged on to Aaron’s MySpace page and had sent the threat to the girl as a joke.
Cicciaro’s mother, Joanne, says that her son was simply trying to protect the girl, who was very much like a little sister to him.
She said, ‘The thing is, that night, Daniel believed Aaron threatened to rape a girl that was like his little sister’.
John White’s attorneys claim that racism fuelled the confrontation, and that White truly believed Cicciaro and his friends were going to kill his son.
Defense attorney Fred Brewington said, ‘You had this group of white men who felt that they were going to defend this young white woman from a black man who said these things about her, and they felt justified to do so because of his race’.
In contrast, Cicciaro’s father, also named Daniel, doesn’t believe White’s story, saying, ‘He had 20 minutes to gather his thoughts, to call the police to defuse the situation, to find out why they were coming over, and he didn’t take any of the precautionary steps’.
Joanne Cicciaro added, ‘The Whites, none of them, ever called 9-1-1, even after he shot Daniel, but he did call their attorney’.
The jury are currently deliberating and have yet to return a verdict.