NORFOLK, Va. -- A judge sentenced former Sheriff Bob McCabe to twelve years in prison on Friday morning.
Last year, jurors convicted McCabe on 11 charges related to corruption during his time as sheriff. Prosecutors say he took part in a pay-to-play scheme with jail contractors and received lavish gifts in exchange for helping them receive contracts.
McCabe entered the courtroom using a walker and his wife burst into tears upon seeing him. Since his conviction, McCabe has spent nine months in jail in solitary confinement for his safety.
"Those nine months have had such a huge impact on him and his health and his mental well-being. It's sad," his attorney James Broccoletti said after the hearing.
During the hearing, prosecutors asked the judge to sentence McCabe to 20 years in prison, calling his actions a "monumental betrayal of public trust."
Broccoletti wanted the judge to sentence him to five years.
McCabe spoke and apologized for his actions.
"It is clear that I used very poor judgment," he said, adding he was "embarrassed and ashamed."
Judge Arenda Wright Allen spoke directly to McCabe when sentencing him, saying what he did went beyond mistakes. "It's a 22-year crime," she said, saying that five years was not a sufficient sentence.
Allen said she agreed with the prosecutors and that McCabe's actions were a "profound breach of trust."
Of his 12-year sentence, McCabe can be released in just over 10 years on good behavior. Judge Allen is recommending McCabe serve out his sentence at a prison in North Carolina, where he can get medical treatment. The Federal Bureau of Prisons will make the final decision on that.
"I thought the court was fair," Broccoletti said after the hearing.
McCabe's attorney called the hearing closure.
"I think everybody is relieved that there's closure. I think you can say something for closure one way or another, and I think that it's a significant step for [his family] to move forward," said Broccoletti.
Despite the conviction and sentencing, McCabe is appealing.
"He admitted that he blurred the lines between friendships and business relationships. He's admitted that, but he's consistently maintained that he did not take a bribe," said Broccoletti.
Earlier this year, Broccoletti asked the judge for a competency evaluation ahead of the sentencing, saying McCabe has early onset Alzheimer's disease, but a judge denied the request.