Palin e-mail hacker sentenced
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – A former University of Tennessee student who hacked into Sarah Palin’s e-mail account during the 2008 presidential campaign was sentenced Friday to a year and a day in custody and three years probation, with the judge recommending a halfway house instead of prison.
The sentence by U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips fell short of the 18 months in prison sought by federal prosecutors to send a message to would-be hackers during political campaigns. But it went beyond the probation recommended by defense attorneys for 22-year-old David Kernell. The additional day of his sentence will make him eligible for a reduced sentence for good behavior.
Phillips said Kernell should get mental health treatment, based on Friday comments from his defense that he has had conditions including depression since he was 11.
Kernell hugged family members and friends after hearing the sentence. Kernell apologized during the hearing.
“I am not going to make any kind of excuses,” he said. “I’d like to apologize to the Palin family.”