Melissa virus suspect to enter plea

David Smith, the programmer charged with authoring the Melissa macro virus, will enter a plea in both federal and state court on Thursday

Ending an eight-month wait, David L. Smith, the programmer who allegedly wrote and released the Melissa macro virus onto the Internet, will enter a plea in both US federal and state district courts on Thursday.

According to law enforcement sources close to the case, Smith will enter a guilty plea in both courts, stated report from ZDNN's sister broadcaster ZDTV on Wednesday. Neither Edward Borden, Smith's attorney in the case, nor the New Jersey District Attorney's Office could be reached for comment.

Smith is scheduled to appear in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Superior Court at 7am PT on Thursday with an appearance in the US District Court in Newark scheduled for 10:30am PT the same day.

The guilty plea comes as little surprise. Court papers filed in August stated that Smith confessed to writing the virus. Smith had admitted his guilt at the time of the arrest, said Paul Loriquet, a spokesman for the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, in a ZDTV interview.

"There was a statement made at the time of the arrest from Mr. Smith to our investigator... that, in fact, at the time of the arrest, he had admitted to creating the virus, and had said that he had destroyed the personal computers that he had used to post it on the Internet," Loriquet said in the report.

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