UPDATE | Reality Winner moved to federal prison

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Friday, October 12, 2018

(WRDW/WAGT) -- Reality Winner has officially moved from the jail in Lincoln County to a federal facility in Texas.

Jail records show Winner has been booked into Carswell Federal Medical Center, in Ft. Worth. She has said thet's where she wanted to be originally.

Her scheduled release date is currently listed as December 29, 2021.



Thursday, August 23, 2018
News 12 @ 6 O'clock / NBC 26 at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Both sides feel this is a win. this outcome is what they were arguing for. the defense wanted a lesser sentence than what could've been, and the prosecution didn't want to go to trial.

But as her attorney said on these steps, their work is done, but this is just the beginning of Reality's new reality.

As US Attorney Bobby Christine walks down the courthouse steps, and to the podium, a chapter is finally closed. Reality Winner will stay behind bars.

"The sentence rendered today is the longest received by a defendant for an unauthorized disclosure of national defense information to the media," Mr. Christine said.

A record-setting sentence for the government, but a new chapter for the defendant.

Titus Nichols, Reality Winner's attorney said, "There were other issues going on with her life, and you have to look at it in its totality. To have a full context about what happened.”

Her attorneys say she acted on impulse.

Mr. Nichols continued saying, "This was not some nefarious plot that she enacted in order to harm the country.”

The prosecution says she knew exactly what she was doing.

"Make no mistake, this is not a victimless crime. Winner's purposeful violation put our nation's security at risk," Mr. Christine stated.

Now, their work is done, but Reality still has a lot of time ahead of her. Judge Randy Hall is urging the Bureau of Prisons to send her to a medical prison in Texas so she can get treatment for bulimia and depression.

Both sides agree she needs more than just punishment but help, too.

"Of course she'll have this conviction on her record, but other than that she has her entire life ahead of her and whatever opportunities may be presented," Mr. Nichols said.

Right now, we don't know where Reality’s next stop will be, that's in the Bureau of Prison's hands.

They have their own set of guidelines to go on, but her attorneys did say it's much more likely she'll end up there since the judge is suggesting it. Judge Hall suggested FMC Carswell or a similar facility.



1:08 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Reality Winner has been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

A federal judge sentenced Winner to 63 months in court Thursday morning. This comes after Winner and her attorney made a plea deal in June.

Check back with News 12 for the latest updates.



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local government contractor who pleaded guilty to leaking NSA documents now has a sentencing hearing date set.

According to court records, Reality Winner's sentencing hearing is set for August 23rd at 10:00 am.



Tuesday, June 26, 2018
10:55 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Reality Winner has officially pleaded guilty in federal court.

Winner has been behind bars since June of 2017 for leaking a classified report containing top-secret information to a news organization.

Winner is a former active duty member of the U.S. Air Force and had been working in Augusta as a government contractor for Pluribus International Corporation since February 2017. Federal court documents showed Winner had "top secret clearance" since 2013, throughout her time in the Air Force and as a contractor.

As part of a plea deal, Winner could spend around 5 years behind bars, but the judge has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation before making a final decision on the plea.





AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Accused NSA document leaker Reality Winner is expected to appear before a judge again later this morning for a Change of Plea hearing.

Winner is expected to enter a Guilty plea in court at 10:00 a.m. in Augusta.

We'll be in the courtroom. Stay with News 12 for all the latest details.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Accused NSA document leaker Reality Winner is expected to appear before a judge again next week for a Change of Plea hearing.

Winner is expected to enter a Guilty plea in court June 26th at 10:00 a.m. in Augusta.



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- According to court records, 40 out of 41 subpoena requests by accused NSA document leaker Reality Winner have been rejected.

They say the court rejected these requests for assorted government agencies like the CIA, Department of Defense, and Homeland Security. The court called these requests "a general fishing expedition" because they aren't requesting specific information such as documents.

The one that was accepted does request specific documents, court records show.

Winner's attorney filed an immediate notice of intent to appeal, according to court documents.



Monday, April 2, 2018

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Accused NSA document leaker Reality Winner has requested subpoenas for seven federal agencies and offices, as well as 21 states.

Those agencies and offices include the CIA, Department of Defense, National Archives Records Administration, National Security Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the White House Office and the U. S. Department of Homeland Security.

Alon with those agencies, Winner is summoning the following states to court: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The subpoena will also cover companies. Those included are TrendMicro, Inc., FireEye, Inc., Eset Company, CrowdStrike, Inc., Volexity, LLC, F-Secure Corporation, ThreatConnect, Inc., Motherboard, Secureworks, Inc., Fidelis Cybersecurity and two others.

The request for the subpoenas was made March 29th.

Reality Winner is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 15



Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A motion for bond has been denied for a woman accused of leaking classified U.S. materials.

The judge overseeing the case made the decision to deny bond for Reality Winner. Last week, the judge said he needed time before making a decision so he could look at concerns of Winner being a flight risk and concerns that she could possibly leak more information.

The statement from Federal Court order reads in part:

In consideration of the legal briefs, oral arguments and testimony at the second detention hearing the Court DENIES defendant's motion for release from custody and finds 1.) by clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions will reasonably assure the safety of the community and; 2.) by a preponderance of the evidence that no condition or combination of condition will reasonable assure the appearance of defendant as required.

We've attached the full order to this article.




Friday, Sept. 29, 2017

6:00 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – With a smile on her face, Reality Winner left the courthouse. Her mother and sister exited from the front, walking past a sea of reporters.

“Ms. Davis, any comment?”
“No, just hoping for the best.”

Winner’s mother and sister testified on her behalf describing her as creative, caring, and loving. She was also described with a weird sense of humor that people might not get, including the government. Her attorney called her a tree hugger because she is a strong environmentalist. A humanitarian with interest in the Peace Corps, and someone deeply close to her family.

“Did my job thanks very much.”

The U.S. Attorney would not comment, but in the courtroom painted a very different picture saying Reality Winner presents an alternate reality, a woman her family doesn’t know. A Taliban sympathizer, someone who hates America and wants to move to the middle east, and someone who took very careful steps to hide her internet activity.

"I'm not the judge there are some briefs that just been filed if I was the judge I would want to read those and those documents,” said Winner’s attorney John Bell.

Who is the real Reality Winner? The judge said he needed time before making a decision.



3:00 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- What was supposed to be a pretrial hearing for a woman accused of leaking classified U.S. materials mirrored a trial in a federal courtroom in Augusta on Friday, as attorneys for Reality Winner called her "a whistleblower and patriotic," while the prosecution said Reality is living "in an alternate reality and is not the person her family think she is."

The pretrial hearing began at 10 a.m. A witness for the federal government took the stand first, the special agent investigating her. Thirteen pieces of evidence were presented to the court including searches of Taliban social media pages, Taliban spokesperson, flights to the middle east, and how to buy a house in Jordan. It was revealed that Winner googled the latter while researching jobs that would give her access to top-secret documents.

In a Facebook conversation between Winner and her sister; Winner reportedly said she would have to take a lie detector test for work, a standard procedure.

She reportedly typed "#fail I say 'I hate America' three times a day."

It was brought up during court that Winner complained about her health in jail, that she reportedly had trouble using the bathroom from eating the food in jail. An FBI agent testified that Winner is now getting special food including fruits and vegetables and that investigators are making special trips to the grocery store for her.

The defense called Winner's mother and sister. Winner's mother told the court that she took an early retirement, moved here, and is living in Winner's house and driving her car.

After the defense witnesses testified, the attorneys went into a top secret portion of the hearing that our reporters were not able to be a part of.

In the end and after several hours of testimony, the judge decided not to rule today and needed time to think about the case, stating that a decision will be made sometime next week. The judge will look at concerns of Winner being a flight risk and concerns that she could possibly leak more information.



Monday, Sept. 25, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Attorneys for a woman accused of leaking a classified U.S. report want a judge to free her from jail pending trial, arguing prosecutors have added no new charges months after they warned the woman may have stolen additional secrets.

Reality Winner, a former Air Force linguist with a top-secret security clearance, worked as a government contractor in Augusta until June, when she was charged with copying a classified report and mailing it to an online news organization.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian K. Epps has scheduled a hearing Friday to reconsider releasing 25-year-old Winner on bond. He ordered her jailed in June after prosecutors said Winner may have taken more than a single classified report. They said Winner had inserted a portable hard drive into a top-secret Air Force computer before she left the military last year.

Winner's defense lawyers argued in a court filing Saturday that prosecutors have not accused Winner of any additional crimes more than three months later. They noted several other cases in which defendants accused of leaking multiple secret documents were freed on pre-trial bonds.

"Ms. Winner is accused of leaking a single document a single time to a single source," Winner's attorneys wrote. "... Detention should not be presumed. It is not the norm. It is not appropriate here."

Prosecutors had not yet filed a response Monday afternoon.

Jennifer Solari, an assistant U.S. attorney, warned the judge in June that investigators had not found the portable hard drive Winner plugged into an Air Force computer and didn't know what might be on it.

Winner's lawyers included an email from Solari in their latest court filing in which the prosecutor noted she was mistaken when she previously told the judge that Winner was recorded in a jailhouse phone conversation saying, "Mom, those documents. I screwed up."

Solari wrote the recording shows Winner actually told her mother: "I leaked a document."

Defense attorneys wrote that if Winner is released, her mother in Kingsville, Texas, would move to Georgia to live with her and ensure that she complies with all bond conditions.

Authorities haven't described the classified report Winner is accused of leaking or named the news outlet that received it. But the Justice Department announced Winner's arrest on the same day The Intercept reported it had obtained a classified National Security Agency report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier before last year's presidential election. The NSA report was dated May 5, the same as the document Winner is charged with leaking.



Friday, Sept. 22, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents will have a new bond hearing.

Reality Winner's second detention hearing is set for Friday, September 29 at 10 a.m.

The Justice Department previously announced her arrest as The Intercept reported that it had obtained a classified report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.



Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents entered a not guilty plea.

Reality Winner's arraignment was set for 2 p.m. Thursday, but she waived the arraignment.

The Justice Department previously announced her arrest as The Intercept reported that it had obtained a classified report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.



Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents has an arraignment on Thursday.

Reality Winner's arraignment is set for 2 p.m. on Thursday. The arraignment is on superseding an indictment and motions.

Her trial is set for March 1.



Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- There is a new development for the trial of a local government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents.

The prosecutors in Reality Winner's case are adding more attorneys, and, they are asking the requirement for a speedy trial to be waived.

Reality Winner's trial was announced in August that it would begin March 1.



Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The trial for a local government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents is set for March 1.

One of our reporters was on scene, confirming that a few defense attorneys need clearance. Attorneys also need to review documents and to consult with experts.

Also, pretrial motions need to be filed. Attorneys say there are 400 pages of classified information to review, plus 8000 pages of unclassified material.

The judge's main concern, though, is to ensure Reality Winner's constitutional right to a speedy trial is observed. Winner is in jail with no prior criminal record.



AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Reality Winner's attorneys have said that a procedure wasn't done.

In a declaration for the 25-year-old government contractor worker, attorneys say she was never read her rights before or during questioning. The second declaration asks her statements to be suppressed.

Winner has a hearing scheduled for today at 9 a.m.

The local woman is charged with leaking U.S. government secrets to a reporter.

The Justice Department previously announced her arrest as The Intercept reported that it had obtained a classified report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.

Her trial is set for Oct. 23.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A hearing has been set before the trial date of the Reality Winner case.

The hearing is set for Aug. 30 at 9 a.m.; however, court documents do not say why.

Still, the trial for a local government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents is set for Oct. 23.

Both parties were supposed to have the images of the computers by July 5, additional documents should have been ready by August 2. Both parties had a special clearance to look over evidence by August 25.



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The trial for a local government contractor accused of leaking NSA documents is set for late October.

According to information from the Federal Courthouse, October 23 is the start date for trial in the Reality Winner case.

Both parties will have the images of the computers by July 5, additional documents will be ready by August 2, and both parties will have special clearance to look over evidence by August 25.

Winner and attorneys are currently meeting to discuss a protection order. The judge states that Winner has no criminal record and only has one count against her so far.

"It weighs heavily on me," the judge said regarding pre-trial detention of Winner.



Monday, June 26, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Local accused NSA document leaker Reality Winner will have another appearance in federal court Tuesday.

Winner's lawyer, Titus Nichols, is describing Tuesday's hearing as a "status conference." Nichols said they have yet to see any evidence from the prosecution.

The Justice Department announced her arrest Monday, June 5, as The Intercept reported that it had obtained a classified report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.

The court hearing is set for 2 p.m. in Augusta.



Friday, June 9, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Inside a Federal courthouse Thursday accused NSA leaker Reality Winner was calm, even stoic, as prosecutor Jennifer Solari read from her private journal.

The Assistant U.S. Attorney read from a notebook taken from Reality's Augusta home.

She wrote: "I want to burn the White House down"

It wasn't the only passage concerning the to judge.

Solari went on to talk about other pages of the journal where reality wrote about "Bin Laden", "Taliban leaders" and going to Afghanistan for a year, writing "this is your chance."

In the courtroom and in front of our camera Reality's parents paint a less political picture of the Air Force veteran and linguist with top secret clearance.

"You know, we're all entitled to our political opinions. That's not part of the equation in determining her guiltiness. Just like it shouldn't be for anybody. Your past views don't have anything to do with the facts of the case. And that's what we really want to have the opportunity to explore and for a jury to see what the facts of this case rather than these accusations. What supports that," said Step-dad Gary Davis.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

9:00 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local woman charged with leaking U.S. Government secrets to a reporter is denied bond

Reality Winner appeared in court Thursday afternoon. The hearing started at 2:00 p.m. Judge denied bond just after 7:00 p.m.

The U.S. attorney claims during Winner's interrogation she gave "untruths" and eventually admitted printing top secret documents.

Prosecutors also mentioned a recorded phone conversation Winner had with her mother on Sunday from jail.

Prosecutors said she told her mother, "Mom, those documents, I screwed up."

Prosecutors are also concerned there could be more documents and said this is not the first time Winner has mishandled documents.

Another thing prosecutors brought up in court was Winner's journal. Winner allegedly had handwritten notes in her journal that read, "I want to burn the White House down."

Prosecutors discussed another recorded phone call Winner had from jail where she allegedly said she would "play the pretty, white and cute card."

The Judge said he does not think Winner is a physical threat, but the missing thumb drive could be a danger, everyone.

A counsel will meet in two weeks to discuss more of this case.


7:00 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local woman charged with leaking U.S. government secrets to a reporter is denied bond.

Reality Winner appeared in court Thursday afternoon. The hearing started at 2:00 p.m. Judge denied bond just after 7:00 p.m.



Wednesday, June 7, 2017

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A local woman charged with leaking U.S. government secrets to a reporter is being temporarily housed in Lincoln County jail.

Reality Winner was booked in on Saturday, June 3 at around 8 p.m.

Winner, a 25-year-old government contractor, will remain in Lincoln County temporarily until her hearing in a federal court on Thursday at 4 p.m.

The Justice Department announced her arrest Monday as The Intercept reported that it had obtained a classified report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

4:44 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) — A woman charged with leaking U.S. government secrets to a reporter shared sometimes scathing opinions on President Donald Trump before her arrest.

Reality Leigh Winner, a 25-year-old government contractor, remained locked up Tuesday on federal charges that she mailed a classified report to an online news outlet. The Justice Department announced her arrest Monday as The Intercept reported that it had obtained a classified report suggesting Russian hackers attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election.

Winner's mother, Billie Winner-Davis, says her daughter moved to Georgia after six years in the Air Force and "believes in always doing what's right."

On Facebook, Winner posted concerns about climate change and lamented that "people voted for a soulless ginger orangutan."



12:22 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Neighbors are talking to News 12 NBC 26 about a government contractor charged with leaking "top secret" NSA documents.

Reality Winner's neighbors on Battle Row, who did not want to talk on camera, say she has only lived at the home about 3-6 months. They say she was very quiet and kept to herself, but would wave to people.

Neighbors say she was not known to be around much, she would leave to go to work and come home at the end of the day.

Neighbors tell us they saw 10-12 black unmarked cars at the home on Friday around 4 p.m. that stayed there for a couple of hours.

The Department of Justice announced Monday prosecutors charged 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner of Augusta with mailing copies of classified documents to a reporter.

Court records don't identify the agency Winner worked for or the news organization. Court records say the documents were produced on or about May 5 and contained "Top Secret level" information.

The website The Intercept reported Monday it obtained a top-secret National Security Agency report dated May 5 saying Russian hackers attacked at least one U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election

Winner's attorney, Titus Nichols, said she has no criminal history and is "a very good person."



9:18 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A woman working as a contractor out of Fort Gordon is now in custody facing federal charges accused of leaking documents containing "top secret" information from the National Security Agency to an online news outlet.

According to the affidavit, Reality Leigh Winner, 25, was arrested Saturday and formally charged in federal court Monday. The arrest came after court documents show she admitted to intentionally printing and mailing classified documents to an online news site, "The Intercept", in May.

The classified documents were published in a report by The Intercept Monday. They said the Russian military intelligence agency, GRU, attacked a U.S. voting software supplier days before the U.S. presidential election in November 2016. U.S. intelligence officials claim that attack did not impact votes in the election. Tuesday morning Russian government officials denied the report and the attack.

Winner is a former active duty member of the U.S. Air Force and had been working in Augusta as a government contractor for Pluribus International Corporation since February. Federal court documents reveal Winner has had "top secret clearance" since 2013, throughout her time in the Air Force and as a contractor.

U.S. intelligence officials define "top secret" as information that could result in "exceptionally grave damage" to national security if disclosed illegally.

U.S. Attorney James Durham confirms Winner will have a detention hearing at the federal courthouse in Augusta Thursday starting at 4:00 p.m.



Monday, June 5, 2017

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- A local government contractor has been charged in federal court with leaking a classified report containing top-secret information to a news organization.

The Department of Justice announced Monday prosecutors charged 25-year-old Reality Leigh Winner of Augusta with mailing copies of classified documents to a reporter.

Court records don't identify the agency Winner worked for or the news organization. Court records say the documents were produced on or about May 5 and contained "Top Secret level" information.

The website The Intercept reported Monday it obtained a top-secret National Security Agency report dated May 5 saying Russian hackers attacked at least one U.S. voting software supplier days before last year's presidential election

Winner's attorney, Titus Nichols, said she has no criminal history and is "a very good person."