A 20-year-old college student suspected of hacking into one of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's e-mail accounts was indicted Tuesday, a district court has announced.
David Kernell, a University of Tennessee student and son of Democratic Tennessee state representative Mike Kernell, turned himself into federal authorities and will be arraigned Wednesday before Judge C. Clifford Shirley in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The indictment, unsealed Wednesday, charges that on September 16 Kernell intentionally accessed the vice presidential candidate's Yahoo e-mail account without authorization. According to the charges, Kernell is the individual responsible for posting screenshots of the account's content to a public Web site. He allegedly gained access to Palin's account by answering a set of security questions and changing the password. He then allegedly posted the new password online, enabling others to access the account.
Kernell faces a maximum of five years in prison if convicted, along with a $250,000 fine and a three-year term of supervised release. The case is being investigated by the FBI's Anchorage and Knoxville field offices. No trial date is scheduled yet.