Sarah Palin testified Friday against a former University of Tennessee student charged with breaking into her e-mail account, saying it compromised the main way she had been communicating with her family while she was campaigning in 2008.
Palin told jurors she was in Michigan campaigning as the Republican vice presidential candidate when she first learned from a news report that her e-mail had been hacked. A few minutes later, her campaign manager and a Secret Service agent told her the report was true, she testified.
David Kernell, the 22-year-old son of a Democratic Tennessee lawmaker, faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted of identity theft, mail fraud and two other felony charges.
The former Alaska governor said she used the "gov.palin" Yahoo! account and a red Blackberry almost exclusively to communicate with her family in Alaska while she was campaigning as the Republican vice presidential nominee.
Palin told jurors that she only returned to her home in Wasilla, Alaska, once during the campaign to speak at the ceremony when her son deployed to Iraq.
Palin's husband, Todd, listened as she testified. Their daughter Bristol testified earlier this week that she got harassing calls and text messages after screen shots of e-mail from the account revealed her cell phone number.
Kernell is accused of gaining access to Palin's e-mail account in September 2008 by correctly providing her birth date and zip code and correctly answering that Wasilla is where she met her husband.
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