Jurors in McDonnell Corruption Trial Speak Out
Jurors from the McDonnell corruption trial are speaking out about the emotional toll the verdicts had on the couple and the courtroom.
Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted Thursday on nearly all counts involving doing favors for former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. The federal jury in Richmond convicted Bob McDonnell on 11 of the 13 counts he faced. Maureen McDonnell was convicted on nine of the 13 counts she faced.
Bob McDonnell began crying as soon as he heard the first sob from his daughter Cailin. Other family members and supporters followed suit. McDonnell's sobbing grew more intense as each guilty verdict was read.
The verdicts took a hard toll on the family but the jurors say it was difficult for them too. One juror said the members of the jury felt they made the right decision, but that doesn't mean they didn't feel for the McDonnells.
"When the verdicts were read, you could not be human and not feel sorry, or empathy or compassion for the McDonnell family," juror Kathleen Carmody said. "I was trying not to cry as well. I just felt such sympathy for them. I don't know that I was shocked but it still tugged at my heart strings. It was heart wrenching to watch…it was very touching and very emotional, very difficult to sit there as the verdicts were read."
Carmody said she voted for McDonnell and thought he was a great governor, but added: “I'm sure I'm not their favorite person. I thought the evidence spoke for itself. But I do feel for them, I absolutely feel for them."
Juror Robin Trujillo moved to the Richmond area about a year and a half ago and wasn't familiar with the McDonnells before the trial. She said it "wasn't just one light bulb" that swayed the jury toward a guilty verdict but after deciding on guilt on the first conspiracy charge "everything kind of fit together like a puzzle."
The McDonnells are scheduled for sentencing on January 6. Analysts say it's unlikely they will receive the maximum sentence, but if they did it could include millions of dollars in fines and approximately 20 to 30 years in prison.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.