A federal grand jury in Chattanooga, Tenn., reportedly adjourned today without delivering an indictment in the hacking of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account.
The grand jury heard testimony this morning from three friends of University of Tennessee student David Kernell, according to the Chattanooga Times-Free Press, but ended its session around noon without returning an indictment.
“Three young college-age people . . . two males and a female [who] are apparently friends” of Kernell, testified before the grand jury, the Chattanoogan reported earlier. The FBI had reportedly served a search warrant early Sunday morning at Kernell’s apartment near the UT campus in Knoxville.
Suspicion centered on Kernell, son of a Tennessee state lawmaker Mike Kernell (D-Memphis), after contents of Palin’s Yahoo e-mail account were posted on an Internet bulletin board under the nickname “rubico10.” One of Kernell’s friends told WBIR-TV that the 20-year-old economics student — who described himself an “Obamacrat” on his Facebook page — often used the alias “Rubico” in online political discussions.
The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported that Kernell has retained the services of attorney Wade Davies, who issued a statement saying, “We are confident that the truth will emerge as we go through the process. David is a decent and intelligent young man, and I look forward to assisting him during this difficult period.”