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McDonnell Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(CN) - A federal judge has sentenced former Virginia Gov. Robert McDonnell to two years in prison following his conviction on multiple corruption charges.

McDonnell was sentenced on Tuesday for accepting $177,000 in loans and expensive gifts from Johnnie R. Williams, one-time CEO of Star Scientific, in exchange for promoting a dietary supplement.

Prosecutors had been seeking 10 to 12 years in prison for McDonnell, who was convicted in September along with his estranged wife.

But after a morning hearing that featured eight character witnesses, U.S. District Judge James Spencer held that McDonnell did not obstruct justice during his trial testimony, and therefore, he only merits 78 to 97 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

McDonnell's attorney had hoped for even more leniency, asking Spencer to only sentence their client to community service, citing the fact that his political career is over and that he's deeply in debt.

Maureen McDonnell, who is now estranged from the former governor, was convicted of nine counts in September, but Judge Spencer dismissed the obstruction of justice charge last month.

The former first lady is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 20.

Attorneys for the couple plan to appeal the convictions.

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