McDonnell Corruption Trial: Jury Deliberations to Begin Tuesday

Posted: Updated: Sep 15, 2014 03:52 PM
Former Gov. Bob McDonnell Former Gov. Bob McDonnell

The corruption trial against former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife is expected to reach a new stage Tuesday.

Jury deliberations will begin Tuesday in the corruption trial of McDonnell and his wife, Maureen. The McDonnells are charged in a 14-count indictment with accepting more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from former Star Scientific Inc. CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his company's product.

“It has been a long five weeks, but I have felt every day that witnesses come on the stand and tell the truth for us,” said Bob McDonnell.

In the 25 days of testimony, the jury heard about a designer shopping spree, a marriage secretly broken, and the first lady's emotional crush. Other days focused, in excruciating detail, on hundreds of records.

Attorneys on both sides tried to place that evidence in context during Friday's closing arguments.

Prosecutor David Harbach told jurors that Williams' testimony was verified by other witnesses and the government's "common sense" interpretation of circumstances. Harbach said it demonstrated a "dirty deal" of corruption and bribery, and told jurors "don't let it stand."

Bob McDonnell's attorney Henry Asbill said there was no crime because Williams received nothing from the governor and the marriage was too dysfunctional to conspire. As for Maureen McDonnell, her attorney, William Burke summed up her defense in saying her motives were based on being "gaga" for Williams and passionate for health supplements.

“I am looking forward to bringing this to a conclusion,” said McDonnell.

In this courthouse Tuesday, Judge James Spencer is expected to read instructions to the jury. Then the seven men and five women will go behind closed doors to begin deliberations over the couple's fate.

The jury has a range of options - from a complete acquittal to finding the McDonnells guilty on one or all of the charges. If the McDonnells are convicted, they could face up to 30 years in prison.

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