A surprise legal maneuver by the defense in the Sarah Palin hacking case could undermine key charges carrying the stiffest potential penalties.Wade Davies, attorney for the son of Tennessee State State Rep. Mike Kernell (awesome coincidence - what are the odds?) wants a federal judge to dismiss all of the charges on various grounds. Davies has filed a number of motions and memorandums on behalf of his 20-year-old client David Kernell trying to shoot down the government’s four-count federal indictment.
A lawyer for the Tennessee college student charged with hacking into the Alaska governor’s Yahoo e-mail account last year says his client couldn’t have violated Palin’s privacy because a judge had already declared her e-mails a matter of public record.
Will this line of defense work? Wired asked Mark Rasch, a former Justice Department cybercrime prosecutor:
Rasch says the argument that e-mail is not property is "interesting" but will likely fail to get the wire fraud charge dismissed. However, if the matter goes to trial, he says the attorney might be able to convince a jury that Kernell simply accessed the e-mail out of curiosity, not out of an intent to defraud.The accused hacker's trial is on the docket for Oct. 27.