The son of state legislator Mike Kernell (D-TN) who was convicted of breaking into Gov. Palin's email account wants a federal judge to grant him probation rather than send him to prison for his crimes at his sentencing hearing next month:
David C. Kernell's request for a downward departure comes six months after a federal jury found him guilty of felony obstruction of justice and a misdemeanor count of unauthorized access to a computer. The same jury acquitted Kernell on a felony charge of wire fraud and deadlocked on a charge of identity theft.- JP
The conviction carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing guidelines in the case recommend that Kernell receive 15 to 21 months in prison, and the government has asked for 18 months. Sentencing is scheduled for November 12.
In a memorandum filed on Tuesday, Kernell's attorneys argued that although their client deleted some computer files after accessing Palin's account, he should not go to prison because he allowed much of the data to be preserved.
In a sentencing memorandum filed on Wednesday, federal prosecutors outlined a series of steps Kernell took following the hack to cover his tracks. They included the deleting of images and emails he downloaded from Palin's account, the removal of temporary internet files, and running a disk defragmenter.