A Richmond jury today convicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on 11 of 14 corruption counts. His co-defendant wife Maureen McDonnell was found guilty on eight corruption counts and obstruction of justice.
The charges stemmed from exchanging favors with a wealthy Virginia businessman in exchange for more than $177,000 worth of lavish gifts, vacations, and loans. The pair was not convicted on bank fraud charges.
Reporters in the courtroom described the McDonnell family as sobbing and hysterical as the guilty charges were read. This was the third day of deliberations for the jury after a five-week trial.
This is a stunning fall from grace for the man who was on the short list to be a possible running mate for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.
The current governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe released a statement on the historic verdict saying, “I am deeply saddened by the events of the trial that ended in today’s verdict, and the impact it has had on our Commonwealth’s reputation for honesty and clean government.
“Dorothy and I will continue to pray for the McDonnell family and for everyone who was affected by this trial,” McAuliffe wrote.
Sentencing will not be today, but the maximum sentence for each corruption charge is 20 years. During the next phase of sentencing, family members and friends will likely contact the judge directly, traditionally by mail, to plead for leniency for the former first couple of Virginia. It’s likely at that point that the McDonnell will appeal their conviction in an appeals court.