Knoxville, TN (Apr 20) – David Kernell, a 22-year-old former University of Tennessee college student, charged with hacking into then Governor, Sarah Palin’s email accounts has stated his concerns regarding being able to receive a fair trial in the heavily republican state of Tennessee.
The U.S. District Judge presiding over the trial, Thomas Phillips has denied defense motions to have jurors respond to a pre-selection questionnaire regarding any affiliations or support for then Vice President Candidate Palin.
The prosecution accuses the defendant, David Kernell the son of Representative Mike Kernell (D-KY), of identity theft, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. Palin has been subpoenaed to testify at his trial.
Kernell faces prison time if convicted on all charges regarding hacking Palin’s online Yahoo account by simply guessing at security questions and resetting Palins password, and reposting information regarding Palin’s personal email account online using the alias “rubico.”
Blog postings found on the web suggest it took very little effort for the defendant to allegedly guess the then governor’s password by answering security questions which consisted of a combination of her “zip code”, and location to where she met her husband.
The original federal indictment in the case, unsealed October 7, 2008 states a single count of accessing without authorization the email account of Alaska governor Sarah Palin.
Palin is expected to draw a larger crowd of supporters outside the courthouse as she appears to testify.