Republican vice presidential candidate Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin speaks during a campaign rally in The Villages, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008.
A federal grand jury in Chattanooga ended its session around lunch time today without indicting a University of Tennessee student who authorities believe may have hacked into vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s personal e-mail account.
Three students arrived at the federal courthouse on Georgia Avenue at about 8:45 a.m. today to provide testimony about UT student David Kernell’s activities. The students did not provide their names and did not answer questions about the case. An attorney with them declined to comment as well.
The students were allowed to leave the court house secretively through the back door, where members of the public generally are not allowed.
FBI agents from Knoxville exited the front doors of the court house at about 10 a.m., also declining to comment about any aspect of the case.
It is not known what other evidence the grand jury might have heard in relation to the case against Mr. Kernell.
A hacker last week broke into one of the Yahoo Inc. e-mail accounts used by Alaska Gov. Palin, the running mate of presidential candidate John McCain, R-Ariz. The McCain campaign acknowledged the act, calling it illegal and an invasion of her privacy.
The FBI began investigating Mr. Kernell, the son of state Rep. Michael Kernell, D-Memphis, over the weekend, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Investigators searched his apartment in Knoxville, but did not immediately file any criminal charges.
Mr. Kernell, 20, is an economics major at UT.
The U.S. attorney’s office in Chattanooga confirmed Monday that the local federal grand jury would be evaluating the case today. Grand juries are responsible for hearing basic evidence in a case and then deciding whether to indict a suspect for a specific crime.
For complete details, see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press