Knoxville (TN) – David Kernell, the 20-year-old son of Tennessee state Rep. Mike Kernell, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville for “intentionally accessed” Alaska governor Palin’s private email account, assistant attorney General Matthew Friedrich said. The lawmaker’s son turned himself into federal authorities for arrest.
The damage may be done for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but it appears that authorities will follow through with the prosecution of her hacked email account. Acting assistant attorney General Matthew Friedrich of the Criminal Division and U.S. attorney James Dedrick for the Eastern District of Tennessee announced that 20-year-old David Kernell was indicted by a federal grand jury in Knoxville, Tenn., for intentionally accessing the e-mail account of Alaska governor Sarah Palin without authorization.
Authorities also reported that Kernell turned himself into federal authorities for arrest and will be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley. The indictment is merely an allegation, but if convicted, Kernell faces a faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $250,000 fine and a three year term of supervised release. A trial date has not been set.
According to a statement, the “single-count” indictment alleges that Kernell accessed Palin’s email account “on approximately Sept. 16” and allegedly resetted the account’s password:
“According to the indictment, after answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access to the e-mail account, Kernell allegedly read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content and other personal information. According to the indictment, Kernell posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public Web site. Kernell also allegedly posted the new e-mail account password that he had created, thus providing access to the account by others.”
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Anchorage and Knoxville field offices, a statement released by the Department of Justice said. Apparently, Kernell was found through a proxy server email trail.