- Associated Press - Thursday, October 30, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A tweet earlier this month suggesting insider information on the grand jury investigating the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown was the result of someone hacking a woman’s Twitter account, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Thursday.

McCulloch released a statement criticizing leaks in the investigation that followed the death of the 18-year-old on Aug. 9 in Ferguson. A grand jury is deciding if Officer Darren Wilson will face charges. A decision is expected by mid-November.

The leak was among several with alleged details of the grand jury investigation, with much of the information suggesting evidence in favor of Wilson. McCulloch said the leaks are “a great disservice to the grand jury process,” but he also questioned their accuracy.

“As exasperating as I and others find the piecemeal release of information and documents, no information or evidence has been released by the grand jury, any individual juror or anyone associated with the grand jury,” McCulloch said in the statement.

He specifically cited the tweet under the name of Susan M. Nichols on Oct. 1. The tweet suggested that an unidentified friend serving on the grand jury said the panel lacked evidence to warrant criminal charges.

Nichols, of Affton, said her Twitter account had been hacked and that she had made no such tweet.

She was telling the truth, McCulloch said - an investigation revealed that Nichols’ account was hacked and the person who actually wrote the tweet was unknown.

Nichols declined comment to The Associated Press when a reporter went to her home the day after the tweet. She does not have a published telephone listing.

Brown’s killing led to several protests, some of them violent, and a national debate about police use of force and race relations. The officer is white. Brown, who was unarmed, was black.

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