Former Governor McDonnell & Wife Plead Not Guilty

Jan 24, 2014

The McDonnells leave U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Credit Mark Wilson/Getty Images via NPR

Former Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, are free on their own recognizance, but received strong warnings not to interact with the news media.

Both pleaded “not guilty” to more than a dozen charges … and now have until July 28th to strategize with their counsel before what's expected to be a lengthy trial.

The court held bond and arraignment hearings on numerous conspiracy, fraud, and other charges.  And if convicted of each at the maximum penalty, both could spend the rest of their lives in prison. They walked in the courtroom hand and hand, and confident, until the judge read off the charges—12 shared, and a separate one for each. A dozen carry a maximum penalty of 20-years. Many supporters attended, including high-ranking lawmakers and House Courts of Justice Committee Chairman Delegate David Albo.
Albo and others say they just don't believe the McDonnells are guilty of any crimes. Both judges assured the defendants that the cases will not be tried in the media but by a jury. Attorneys expect the trial to last five to six weeks.