News Column

Verdict: McDonnells guilty on multiple counts

September 4, 2014

By Travis Fain and Dave Ress Tfain@dailypress.Com, Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

Sept. 04--RICHMOND -- Bob and Maureen McDonnell have been found guilty this afternoon on nearly all the corruption counts against them.

The former governor shook, as if crying silently, as the later counts were read. There were gasps and sobs in the courtroom as the counts mounted. When he left the federal courthouse a half hour later, McDonnell was still visibly shaken.

"All I can say is my trust remains in the Lord," he said.

Henry Asbill, one of the governor's lead attorneys, said the case will be appealed.

Altogether, this was a disastrous outcome for the couple after five weeks of trial. The corruption counts come with maximum prison sentences that can be measured in decades, but the McDonnells won't be sentenced until Jan. 6.

They were found not guilty on a pair of bank fraud charges. They were accused of lying on loan applications because they didn't reveal loans recieved from Jonnie R. Williams Sr., the U.S. government's star witness against the pair.

Maureen McDonnell was found guilty on an obstruction charge she faced alone.

There were 11 corruption counts against the couple -- including two conspiracy counts -- and the McDonnells were both found guilty on nearly all of them. On three Maureen McDonnell was found not guilty, but her husband was found guilty.

Most days of this trial the governor has walked out of the courthouse and down the street to a nearby hotel, responding to reporters along the way.

Today he waited until a car arrived to pick him up just outside the building.

"I don't want to go out until the car's here," he told family members before he exited.

Two of the governor's sisters declined comment on behalf of family members. Other than promising to appeal, the governor's legal team declined comment as well.

Jurors weren't available for comment after the verdict was read. During the trial, they left the courthouse each evening by the front door, but not today.

Both left the federal courthouse here without much comment some 30 minutes after the verdict was read. The governor was visibly shaken. Maureen McDonnell had tears in her eyes.

Both left the federal courthouse here without much comment some 30 minutes after the verdict was read. The governor was visibly shaken. Maureen McDonnell had tears in her eyes.

Was read about 3 p.m. When the clerk read the first count -- guilty -- the 71st governor of Virginia's head dipped. By count five, he was slowly shaking his head.

One of his daughrers gasped a sob and began crying softly. Most of the McDonnells' immediate family was packed tightly into a front-row bench.

At count 9 the governor held his right hand over his eyes. After a minute he began shaking, as if crying silently.

After the verdict was read a marshall stepped over to hand the McDonnell legal teams some paperwork. He gave McDonnell a pitying glance.

The governor's head was slumped so low it almost touched the table. A quiet sobbing barely could be heard.

Soon thereafter, a grim-faced McDonnell emerged from the courtroom with his family and legal team, and immediately went to a side room to consult with his lawyers. A son and daughter leaned up against a white courtroom wall and sobbed together, consoled by their father's priest.

Daily Press reporter Peter Dujardin contributed to this report.

Previously ...

RICHMOND -- A jury has found former Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, guilty, on the first of two conspiracy counts against them this afternoon.

The rest of the counts against the couple are being read now.


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