Former governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell and his wife have been found guilty of corruption charges today (September 4th) after five weeks of trial.
McDonnell was convicted of 11 out of 14 of conspiracy, bribery, extortion and related charges
. His wife Maureen was found guilty of 9 similar charges. Both of them cried when the verdicts were read.
The trial has gained national spotlight since McDonnell had what seemed to be a picture-perfect marriage until the defense described them as having too broken of a marriage to conspire criminally, which destroyed all presidential hopes for the Republican rising star.
The McDonnells were accused of accepting $165,000 in gifts and loans from a local dietary supplements executive, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., in exchange for political favors.
The jury started deliberating on Tuesday after hearing from 67 witnesses and viewing former conversations with Williams and aides about the loans and covering up the conversations.
The defense portrayed Maureen McDonnell as the villain in the marriage from the beginning, and that she had a crush on Williams. They claimed she was the one who orchestrated the loans and gifts, and was also demanding as well as emotionally abusive towards Bob.
But the prosecution won out with their argument that the marriage was just fine, and reminded the 7 men and 5 women of the jury of the lavish gifts
that the couple received, including pricey vacations, a Rolex, a Ferrari, several golf trips, and extravagant dinners.
Current Virginia governor Terry McAulliffe released a statement not long after the verdict about how he was “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."
This is the first governor to be convicted of a crime in state history.
The couple's sentencing is scheduled for January 6th.
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