Ex-Franklin Regional student working on plea deal in connection with cyber attack
The lawyer for a former Franklin Regional High School student charged with initiating cyber attacks that disrupted school and government computer systems throughout Westmoreland County in 2016 said in court Friday that plea bargain negotiations are progressing.
Michaela Gabriella King, 21, of Murrysville, is awaiting trial on felony charges of the unlawful use of a computer or communications device.
Prosecutors contend King, then an 18-year-old senior, uploaded a computer program to the school’s system that caused it and other linked systems to crash.
Investigators said that virus caused computer crashes at schools and other entities that used a central server system supplied by the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, including Derry Area, Greater Latrobe, Greensburg-Salem, Ligonier Valley, Kiski Area, Burrell, Jeannette, Greensburg Central Catholic, Monessen and Hempfield, as well as the Greensburg Catholic Diocese and Westmoreland County government.
Defense attorney Lyle Dresbold asked Common Pleas Court Judge Tim Krieger to delay King’s trial for at least two months.
“We’re negotiating and hopefully we will get to a point where there is a resolution,” Dresbold said.
Krieger granted the two-month delay and scheduled King to appear in court in June for a status conference on her case.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293, [email protected] or via Twitter .