Jailed Reporter Is Freed After Source Allows Name to Be Used

From Associated Press

A television newsman jailed for refusing to identify a confidential source emerged free from a courtroom Tuesday after giving the judge his source's name.

The source released KMOL-TV reporter Brian Karem from his promise of confidentiality Monday night, Karem said, after the U.S. Supreme Court declined his second request to be freed.

"I want to see my wife and my son and take a day off and eat some pizza and drink some beer and never wear orange again," Karem said after his release.

The 29-year-old journalist, who wore an orange uniform during his two weeks in jail, was held in contempt of court and sentenced to six months in jail for refusing to say who helped arrange a telephone interview last year with jailed murder suspect Henry David Hernandez.

Hernandez and his brother, Julian, are charged in the March, 1989, shooting death of a San Antonio police officer. Henry David Hernandez told Karem that he shot policeman Gary Williams in self-defense.

Lawyers in the Hernandez case said they needed to know who arranged the interview to determine whether it could be admitted as evidence.

Karem on Tuesday identified the source as Deborah Ledesma, a cousin of Hernandez.

"I didn't intend to prove anything. I just intended to keep my promise, so I kept my promise," he said.

State District Judge Pat Priest questioned the woman's need to remain anonymous, then freed Karem from the contempt citation.

Outside the courtroom, Karem kissed and hugged his wife, Pam. Their 18-month-old son, Zachary, slept in a stroller.

Ledesma, now living in Santa Clara, Calif., told attorneys Monday that she arranged a conversation in March, 1989, between Hernandez and Karem. Karem said that was one of two phone conversations he had with Hernandez that night.

Karem said he agreed to keep Ledesma's name secret because she feared some of Hernandez's family members.

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