Aunt's Fake Facebook Page Leads to Teen's Murder-for-Hire Arrest - Legally Weird
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Aunt's Fake Facebook Page Leads to Teen's Murder-for-Hire Arrest

The aunt of a troubled Alabama teenager got more than she bargained for when she created a fake Facebook account to teach her niece a lesson about online safety.

AL.com reports that just days after the aunt began chatting with her niece Marissa Williams via a fake Facebook account, posing as a man named "Tre 'Topdog' Ellis," Williams allegedly asked Ellis to kill her aunt, her aunt's fiance, her cousin, and even the family dog.

What kind of trouble did this oversharing teen get herself into?

Solicitation of Murder Alleged

After reading her 19-year-old niece's online offer -- which also included trading sex for payment of her $50 cell phone bill -- the aunt called police. Williams was arrested and charged with solicitation of murder.

Even though "Tre 'Topdog' Ellis" was not a real person, solicitation does not require the crime being solicited to actually occur. Under Alabama's criminal code, solicitation of murder is, along with murder, a Class A felony and can be punished by up to 99 years in prison.

But what about Williams' "catfishing" aunt? Will she face any charges for creating the fake Facebook profile at the heart of this drama?

Is It Illegal to Create a Fake Facebook Profile?

Most of the laws regarding fake social media accounts involve impersonating an actual person. In this case, Williams' aunt's fake profile was a completely fictional person.

Furthermore, the fake account often must be used for a criminal or illicit purpose in order to violate the law. Williams' aunt was just trying to get to the bottom of her niece's risky online behavior, which fortunately she did. After all, who knows what would have happened if Williams had been talking to a real person?

Williams is currently in county jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.

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