A San Antonio reporter remained in jail yesterday for refusing to reveal his sources, even though the Bexar County sheriff announced the name of the woman believed to be the key source in the case.
KMOL-TV reporter Brian Karem said he could not confirm that the woman named by Sheriff Harlon Copeland was his source. Karem and his lawyer were advised by State District Court Judge Pat Priest yesterday that unless Karem releases his notes to the state court in San Antonio, he would have to continue to serve a six-month term.
At issue is a telephone interview Karem conducted last year with a man charged with the murder of a police officer in San Antonio. Attorneys for both sides have pressed Karem to reveal his sources so that they can argue whether the interview, which included a confession, should be allowed in court.
Two sources -- both jailers -- have acknowledged that they helped Karem arrange the interview with the murder suspect, who was in jail at the time. But the third source has not spoken out, and Karem has said that until that source acknowledges talking to him, he is bound by his pledge of confidentiality.
"People can speculate about the source all they want, but until the source comes forward, I have to keep my promise," Karem said last night in a telephone interview.
The television station's managing editor, Forrest Carr, said KMOL and Karem's lawyers have been trying to contact the third source to ask for a release from Karem's promise. "But they haven't been able to get in contact," Carr said.
"These guys are jumping up and down on the Constitution with hobnail boots, and somebody ought to kick them in the pants," Carr said of Priest's statement that Karem would stay in jail until he follows court orders to release his notes.
Copeland said the source being protected by Karem is a cousin of the murder suspect, Henry Hernandez.
"Brian feels that just because the sheriff is naming a name, that does not let Brian off the hook," Carr said. "And that is assuming the sheriff is correct."