Television reporter Brian Karem, saying a source had released him from his promise of confidentiality, revealed the source's name yesterday and was released quickly from a San Antonio jail.
Karem of KMOL-TV, jailed since June 27 under a contempt order by State District Judge Pat Priest, told reporters as he was being released, "I want to see my wife and my son and have a pizza and beer."
Karem had been serving a six-month sentence for refusing to name sources who helped him arrange an interview with a man accused of shooting a policeman in San Antonio in March 1989.
During the telephone interview that Karem broadcast, Henry Hernandez said he shot the policeman in a struggle, that it was self-defense and that his brother, Julian, with him at the time, was not involved. The brothers are charged in the shooting death of policeman Gary Williams.
Lawyers in the case have said they needed to know who arranged the interview to determine whether it should be entered as evidence in the trial.
Krem said yesterday that his lawyer, Larry Macon, and other lawyers interviewed his source by telephone Monday night. The source, whom he named as Deborah Ledesma, a cousin of the Hernandez brothers, has since moved to California.
Karem said he had been assured by his lawyer that Ledesma had released him from his promise to keep her name secret. He said she helped arrange the telephone conversation among Karem, Hernandez and herself.
Karem, saying he was "real happy today," also said he was upset with the attorney defending Hernandez and with the district attorney.
"They've known how to get in touch with this person all along," he said. "Next time, I hope they will make the reporter the last stop instead of the first stop in their investigations."
Karem told the Associated Press: "They've been playing a game."
Mark Stevens, attorney for Henry Hernandez, said he knew of Ledesma but was not certain that she was Karem's primary source. He said Karem "has the gall to come in now and say we knew about her all along and we're playing games. He's playing games."