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Maureen McDonnell: ‘I am the one who allowed the serpent into the mansion’

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RICHMOND, Va. – Former Virginia First Lady Maureen McDonnell was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on federal corruption charges Friday morning at the Richmond Federal Courthouse.

The most emotional part of the hearing came when a tearful Maureen McDonnell addressed the court for the first time.

“I am the one who allowed the serpent into the mansion and the venom of that snake has poisoned my marriage, my family and the Commonwealth that I love,” McDonnell told Judge James Spencer and about a half-dozen witnesses.


Mrs. McDonnell helps up a photographer who tripped as she was leaving the courthouse Friday.

“My marriage is broken, my family is hurting, my reputation is in shatters,” McDonnell said fighting back tears.

In fact, CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George said prosecutors offered Mrs. McDonnell tissues.

McDonnell did not address any of the brutal name-calling she experienced during the federal corruption trial.

Judge Spencer, who called the case sad and tragic, said the former first lady is a “puzzling woman.” Spencer added that even after the lengthy trial, he still grapples to understand who is the real Mrs. McDonnell.

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced last month to two years in prison, but he has vowed to appeal the sentence. McDonnell, who was seen as a rising star in the GOP, was governor from 2010 to 2014.

Depend on WTVR.com and CBS 6 News for the most complete coverage of this important story. 

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