April 30th, 2010
08:53 AM ET
12 years ago

Jurors remain dead-locked in Palin e-mail case

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/04/09/art.palin.nrlc.jpg caption="Federal jurors deliberating the case surrounding the 2008 email hacking of then-Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin remain deadlocked on one issue."](CNN) - Federal jurors deliberating the case surrounding the 2008 email hacking of then-Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin remain deadlocked on one of the four issues they have been tasked to consider, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Jurors are deliberating in their fourth day over the issue of identity theft in the case of a 22-year old man accused of hacking Palin's e-mail account while he was a student in college.

Though remaining divided that issue, jurors did inform the judge Thursday they reached a unanimous verdict on three other charges - wire fraud, intentionally accessing Palin's e-mail account without authorization, and obstructing an FBI investigation.

David Kernell, 22, the son of a Tennessee state representative pled not guilty to all the counts. Kernell's defense rested Monday in the Knoxville trial. He did not take the stand and the defense called one witness, an FBI agent who said Kernell had been emotionally upset, according to CNN affiliate WATE-TV.

In closing arguments Monday, prosecutors told jurors that Kernell, who was a student at the University of Tennessee, was persistent in gaining access to Palin's account, and once he did it, chose not to back down.

Palin herself took the stand last Friday, testifying she did not realize anyone had hacked her Yahoo e-mail account until the news media reported it. She also told the jury her life and campaign were disrupted when the hacked e-mails were published, and it took several days for her to deal with media questions after personal photos and contacts were posted on the internet, according to the report.

Kernell's father, state Rep. Mike Kernell, is a Democrat who has served in the Tennessee House of Representatives for more than three decades. He is not involved in the case.

Filed under: Sarah Palin
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. idesign

    his roommates in prison say, Drill baby, drill!

    April 30, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Illegal use of government property by Palin and illegal hacking into government property by the defendent makes this no brainer. You can't charge one without charging the other.

    April 30, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  3. Charles W. Skinner

    Well, Mr. Kernell is going to jail for a while. I think I can understand why the jurors are having a problem deciding whether or not this actually rises to the level of identity theft, because the law is actually rather questionable on that aspect in this particular case. If hacking for the purposes of access without profit motive or motive to use the person's information as your own is identity theft, that could open the door for a lot of prosecutions for idiots who try to pull stunts like this, and send them away for a LONG time.

    April 30, 2010 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  4. Ruty

    Sarah Palin isn't worth sending a young man to prison. They should send her to prison for impersonating an intelligent person.

    April 30, 2010 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  5. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    We dont need a president like this all her effort would be lost chasing after talk show host and cartoon shows .

    April 30, 2010 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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