What is appropriate sentence for Maureen McDonnell’s role in corruption case?

Posted at 12:12 AM, Jan 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-07 00:12:01-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The historic corruption trial of former state governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen made headlines across the nation.

On January 6, Bob McDonnell was sentenced to two years in prison, which he requested be served in Petersburg. Once he is released from prison, he will be on supervised release for two years. He also must pay $1,100 — which is $100 per charge.

Now the question is how much time will his wife Maureen get for her role in the crimes.

"It was a fascinating case to watch from beginning to end,” said legal analyst Todd Stone.

Maureen will learn what she must pay for conspiring with her husband to enjoy expensive shopping sprees, high price gifts, paid vacations and large checks.

She was found guilty on nine of the charges brought against her, but the obstruction of justice charge was eventually dropped.

“The question is what is the appropriate sentence?" said Stone.

Some letters to the judge from the McDonnell’s five children, in their father's defense, painted the image of their mother as mentally unbalanced and greedy for material possessions and money.

That was in line with the same image prosecutors presented of her in the courtroom. Stone said the mental health accusations may play in Maureen’s favor.

"They could help explain some of the things that she did,” he said.

Either way, Stone believes that Maureen McDonnell will not walk away with more time than her husband.

"Prosecutors looking at this case knowing he got two years to serve, might very well recommend something less than two-years for her, because they want to be fair."

Maureen will be sentenced on February 20th. Bob McDonnell will already be behind bars – he must report to prison on February 9.