Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell was denied a request by a federal appeals court on Thursday to remain free during his appeal for a corruption conviction.
McDonnell will reportedly be sent to prison within the next few weeks and begin serving a sentence for his conviction, the Associated Press reported. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were found guilty of doing favors for a wealthy businessman in exchange for over $165,000.
The former governor was sentenced to two years in prison, while his wife was sentenced to one year and one day. Both appealed their convictions, and have so far remained free on bond.
Last week, the appeals court refused to reconsider a three-judge panel's ruling upholding McDonnell's conviction. The court did not, however, say anything about his bond status.
McDonnell is currently seeking a review for his case from the Supreme Court, though University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias said he doubts the court will allow him to remain free.
“I think there’s a chance, but it’s probably a longshot,” Tobias said Thursday, according to the AP.
McDonnell released a statement following denial from the appeals court.
“I am saddened by the Court's decision today to deny me freedom while I pursue vindication in the U.S. Supreme Court," the statement read. "I am innocent of these charges and will petition the U.S. Supreme Court for a grant of bond.
“I ask my exceptional friends across the nation to continue to support and pray for me and my family during this agonizing time. I thank God for His abundant grace and strength as I continue this difficult journey.”
Photo credit: WIkimedia Commons, Gage Skidmore