[Guest post by DRJ]
Sarah Palin testified today in a Tennessee criminal case in which student David Kernell is charged with hacking her email account:
“As her husband Todd looked on, Palin told jurors she first discovered her account had been breached when watching a TV news report from the campaign trail in Michigan. The Secret Service and a campaign aide later confirmed it was true, she said.
Palin testified that her “gov.palin” e-mail account and red Blackberry were her primary means of keeping in touch with her family in Alaska as she campaigned as the Republican vice presidential nominee. She said the breach caused a huge “disruption” in her family members’ personal and professional lives.
“Friends and family had to change their contacts and e-mails,” she told reporters outside the courtroom of the fallout from the hack job. “It’s not right, it’s not legal, it’s not fair and decent…I don’t think an illegal action like this was a college prank.”
Palin’s daughter Bristol testified she received hundreds of “unsolicited phone calls and text messages, some threatening, after the alleged hacker exposed her cell phone number.”
Meanwhile, Kernell’s attorneys portrayed his act as a “silly prank” but the evidence paints a conflicting picture:
“Prosecutors showed jurors copies of e-mails and Internet postings filled with obscene language that were traced back to Kernell.
“He definitely talked about how he didn’t believe in what she wanted to do,” David Omiecinski, Kernell’s roommate at the University of Tennessee, said, although adding that Kernell said nothing about hurting Palin.
Kernell shared Palin’s private information with the world, including a cell phone number that belonged to her daughter, Bristol, according to prosecutors. He was arrested in October 2008.
Kernell’s roommate said the defendant bragged openly about what he did. But Davies told jurors that his client didn’t attempt to get rid of any evidence on his laptop and that he cried when he found out that the FBI was investigating him. “He really couldn’t have done more to let people know what he had done than he did,” Davies said.
Palin’s family friend Ivey Frye told jurors that the hacker sent “vile” and “vulgar” e-mails to Palin’s children and other relatives and friends, and that all their e-mail addresses were exposed.”
Mr. Kernell may have to take the stand.