#AceNewsServices – Featured Post:VIRGINIA: Jan.06: Bob McDonnell, the former governor of Virginia, was sentenced by a federal judge on Tuesday to two years in prison for accepting lavish gifts from a wealthy donor while holding office.
United States District Court Judge James R. Spencer announced his ruling just shy of 3 pm local time early on Tuesday, four months and two days after a jury there found Mr McDonnell and his wife guilty of public corruption charges. The Twitter account for the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia confirmed the ruling shortly after.
Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell sentenced to two years in prison for violating federal public corruption laws.
— U.S. Attorney EDVA (@EDVAnews) January 6, 2015
“I stand before you as a humble and heartbroken man,” McDonnell told the court on Tuesday ahead of the judge’s decision, according to journalist Jeff Goldberg.“I can’t fathom any deeper humiliation for me and my family”
Going into court on Tuesday, McDonnell faced a maximum sentence of 12 years. Judge Spencer unexpectedly reduced the outcome range during the hearing, however, and said the governor would only face upwards of eight years behind bars since he did not obstruct justice or accept more than a certain amount of bribes, according to Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky. According to Kathy Hieatt, a reporter for The Virginian-Pilot, Judge Spencer sentenced McDonnell to two years on each of the 11 charges he was convicted of, but said he could serve them concurrently, citing the governor’s military service and calling him a “good and decent man.” After he is eventually release from prison, McDonnell will be on supervised release for another two years, Hieatt tweeted from court.
Judge James Spencer said he gave Bob #McDonnell credit for being a “good & decent man” & serving in the military.
— Kathy Hieatt (@kathymarievb) January 6, 2015
Prosecutors sought a sentence of at least 10 years for the former governor, while Mr McDonnell’s attorneys hoped the court would consider probation and community service. His wife, Maureen, was found guilty of nine counts and is expected to learn her fate next month.
Mr McDonnell’s counsel filed a ruling on Monday this week in which the court was asked to preserve the former governor’s freedom pending appeal since they planned to challenge the sentencing as soon as possible. According to the Washington Post, McDonnell’s lawyers said their appeals will raise “substantive legal questions” during what the paper predictedto be a “sure-to-be-lengthy” ordeal before the Fourth Circuit.
According to Zapotosky, the Virginia Republican will have to report to prison by February 9.
Judge gives Bob McDonnell two year sentence. Must report to prison by February 9.
— Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) January 6, 2015