Lawmaker’s son, UT student David Kernell, pleads not guilty in Palin e-mail hacking


David Christopher Kernell walked into federal court this morning in handcuffs, shackles and tennis shoes to plead not guilty to hacking Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account.

He can stay out of jail for now as long as he stays off his computer.

The University of Tennessee student, who is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, turned himself in today after being indicted by a federal grand jury.

He made his first court appearance this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley and could go to trial Dec. 16.

“David Kernell surrendered voluntarily this morning after being informed of the charges,” said his lawyer, Wade Davies. “We look forward to (the case’s) ultimate resolution in court.”

The judge granted Kernell release as long as he stays off his computer, unless it’s for college purposes, and has no contact with Palin or her family.