News

Actions

REPORT: How much time former Gov. McDonnell will likely serve

Default-Image_1280x720.jpg
Posted at 6:27 PM, Jan 05, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-05 20:04:13-05

RICHMOND, Va.  -- Governor Bob McDonnell will be sentenced Tuesday, four months after being convicted on 11 counts of corruption.

While McDonnell attorneys have asked for a sentence of community service, the prosecution seeks 10 years and one month in jail.

"It's not a likely outcome at all," Chuck James, a former federal prosecutor, said speaking to the McDonnell's request for 6,000 hours of community service.

Federal court prosecutors in the Eastern District of Virginia get exactly what they want 70% of the time, although James said Judge James Spencer has a reputation for sentencing his own way.

"He is one who has said he welcomed the ability to tailor a sentence based on the particular evidence that is in front of him," James said.

James believes the sentence will be around seven years. He also said McDonnell will likely get to walk out of court Tuesday and report to jail at a future date.

Possible locations include the Federal Correctional Institution in  Fort Dix, N.J., where former Va. State Delegate Phil Hamilton is serving out his sentence. Another option could be in suburban Denver where Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is housed, at Federal Correctional Institution Englewood.

James tells us a site in Petersburg is also a possibility, but in all likelihood McDonnell will serve out of state.

"I think it's unlikely he'll be sentenced there for a number of reasons, not the least of which is his notoriety."

McDonnell is expected to speak publicly after the hearing, which could include testimony from former Governor Douglas Wilder. McDonnell attorneys also asked he be allowed out on bail during his appeal, something James said again, is a Hail Mary.

"You have to take that shot, but it's unlikely," James said.

James said a key moment during Tuesday's sentencing will be whether Judge James Spencer interprets the McDonnell acceptance of gifts as one large bribe or a series of bribes. If it is a series of bribes James said it could be spell trouble for the governor.

Maureen McDonnell will be sentenced in February.

Bob McDonnell's sister, also named Maureen, told CBS 6 the former governor spent the day with his family and with his attorneys, and planned to have dinner with his children.

A juror who convicted McDonnell on 11 of the corruption charges said she “feels” for McDonnell, but she does not regret her verdict.

“He broke the trust of the people. He committed a crime,” Robin Trujillo said.

Trujillo said she just hates “that [the sentence] is so long” and recommends anywhere between five and ten years behind bars.