Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison

| by Edward Arnold

From a potential vice presidential nominee and governor of Virginia to a convicted felon facing two years in federal prison, Bob McDonnell's life is much changed.

Found guilty on 11 of 14 counts of corruption, McDonnell used the power of his office to access more than $165,000 in loans and high-end gifts, including Ferraris, shopping sprees, wedding gifts and a customized Rolex watch, reports ABC News. He was sentenced to two years in prison on Jan. 6.

"I am a fallen human being," McDonnell said after his sentencing hearing. “I would also say to the people of Virginia that I have never, ever betrayed my sacred oath of office in any way while I served as governor of this great commonwealth."

Reports claim members of the McDonnell family were sobbing and hysterical as the guilty charges were read on Sept. 4.

Prosecutors wanted the former governor to serve more than 10 years in prison.

"As governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Robert McDonnell violated the public's trust and tarnished the highest office in state government," U.S. Attorney Dana Boente said. "This investigation, prosecution and sentence will help restore and maintain the high integrity of the governor's office, while affirming our commitment to prosecuting public officials who commit crimes."

Bob McDonnell was not alone in this crime. His wife, Maureen McDonnell, was convicted of nine corruption counts and obstruction of justice. Her sentencing hearing is Feb. 20.

The charges are founded in the couple's granting favors to wealthy Virginia businessman Jonnie Williams, who received immunity from prosecution by becoming the star witness in the case.

For the defense, McDonnell's attorneys argued that the couple could not have conspired together to receive the extravagant gifts as their marriage was falling apart and they barely spoke to each other.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons will decide in which McDonnell will be imprisoned. McDonnell's attorneys will appeal the conviction.

Leaving the courtroom, McDonnell told reporters, "All I can say is my trust remains in the Lord."

Sources: USA Today, ABC News, 13 News Now / Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons