Former UT student turned hacker now released from federal prison - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Former UT student turned hacker now released from federal prison camp

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(WMC-TV) - Five years have passed since a Tennessee college student attempted to hack into former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's e-mail.

U. T. Student David Kernell got a different kind of education: months in a federal prison camp, a halfway house, and supervised probation. All that has now ended. This comes to a close after his attorney filed a motion saying Kernell had paid enough for what the attorney described as a prank.

"I think he learned his lesson," stated Kernell.

Kernell's father, Mike Kernell, has been in the Tennessee legislature for 38 years. He described it as a "relief" that his son is now released from probation several months early and thanks the federal judge in Knoxville who made it possible.

Five years ago, David Kernell was a student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville when he made national headlines. Kernell was charged with looking through the personal email account of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin when she was running as a vice presidential candidate on the Republican ticket just weeks before the 2008 election.

Kernell says even though the whole thing was scary for his son David he learned a valuable lesson.

""If you do walk through it, you pay the price for what you did. There is life after that," stated Mike Kernell.

David Kernell is currently visiting with his mother in the West. Mike Kernell says his son plans to take some time off before law school. David Kernell's goal? He wants to become a defense attorney.

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