Accused NSA leaker speaks one year later

Sunday, June 3, 2018
News 12 at 11

LINCONLTON, Ga. (WRDW) -- Exactly one year ago, accused NSA leaker, Reality Winner was arrested. Friends and family held a candlelight vigil to show their support.

Reality was arrested for allegedly leaking classified documents to an online news outlet. She still sits behind bars in Lincolnton. This is a story that has gained international attention. Some people are calling reality winner a hero, others say she's a traitor. Her mom tell News 12, Reality may be losing her battles in court, but outside those walls of her cell she has all the support.

"It broke my heart to see her in the uniform in the orange and and behind a glass pane," said Billie Winner-Davis, Reality's mother.

It a sight no mother imagines.

"This arrest really turned us upside down and it's changed us," Billie said. "It's changed our family drastically."

It's a change they are taking day by day. Billie says she talks to her daughter everyday.

"She calls me at least twice a day, sometimes three times a day to check in," Billie said.

A 15 minute phone call.

"What did you eat for dinner tonight?" Billie asked her daughter on the phone.

"I had peanut butter, but I had a bag of pretzels so I had peanut butter and pretzels," Reality responded.

A mother trying to bring some normal back to their lives and cherishing every laugh she gets to hear over the phone.

Family, friends, and supporters gathered infront of the detention center Reality Winner is being held. Today, marking one year since her arrest.

"This vigil is basically to stand up with Reality at this time," Billie said.

"There are no words, you know? It doesn't feel like I'm an inmate anymore," Reality tells her mom on the phone. "I feel more like a prisoner."

A feeling that comes after being denied bond.

"She does lose hope at times," Billie said. "For the most part though she does stay strong."

Many people are calling her a traitor. It something Reality says she hates to hear, especially after serving her country for six years.

"I love this country and it kills me to see everything going on today," Reality said.

This mother and daughter holding on until October.

"We're holding our breath until the trial," Billie said.

As far as the case right now there are a lot of appeals up in the air. The defense has issued 41 subpoenas and the court denied them 40. Reality Winner will stay in detention in Lincolton until her trial October 15th in Augusta