Palin E-mail Hacker Sentenced to Year in Custody

By Bill Poovey | November 12, 2010 | 11:46 AM EST

David Kernell, right front, walks to the Federal Courthouse with his mother, Lt. Col. Lillian Landrigan, behind, and attorney's Wade Davies, left front, and Anne Passino Friday, Nov. 12, 2010 in Knoxville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Wade Payne)

(AP) - A former University of Tennessee college student who was convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's e-mail during the 2008 presidential campaign has been sentenced to a year and a day with the judge recommending the term be served in a halfway house, not prison.

Federal Judge Thomas W. Phillips also said David Kernell, who was a 20-year-old economics major when he deduced the answers to security questions and read e-mails in Palin's private account, should get mental health treatment.

Kernell apologized in court Friday to Palin and her family.

The judge rejected a recommendation from prosecutors who argued for 18 months in prison. It will be up to the Bureau of Prisons to decide if Kernell is allowed to go to a halfway house.