Williams testifies in McDonnell trial

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Evidence revealed Wednesday in the McDonnells trial and released Thursday morning showed checks written to McDonnell's realty company MoBo Realty and receipts for golf trips paid for by Jonnie Williams.

Two checks for $50,000 to MoBo Realty were voided because they had Maureen McDonnell's name on them. A third check was presented without Maureen McDonnell's name.

A receipt for Kinloch Golf Club details thousands of dollars, paid for by Williams, for a golf trip by McDonnell and his sons.

On Friday, Williams testified about the Rolex watch he bought for Maureen McDonnell to give to Bob McDonnell. Maureen McDonnell and Williams first talked about the Rolex after a lengthy day of meetings in the mansion with officials from DOH and VCU. Maureen McDonnell noticed Williams' watch and said she'd like to get one for the governor.

Williams asked if he wanted her to buy one for her to give to him and Maureen McDonnell said yes. Williams bought the watch for "$6K or $7K" at Malibu Jewelers in California. He called Maureen McDonnell from the store to ask about engraving.

Prosecutor Michael Dry had the watch in the courtroom and each member of the jury was able to examine the watch personally.

Williams didn't want anyone to find out that Maureen McDonnell asked him to buy Rolex.

"I thought it was wrong, a bad idea for anyone to know that," said Williams. "It was a bad decision on my part...I shouldn't have had to buy things like that to get the help I needed."

The series of meetings at the mansion came the day after the McDonnell trip to Williams Smith Mountain Lake house.

Williams said Maureen McDonnell asked him to have the Ferrari delivered to the house after she saw it parked in his garage after a visit to his home.

The McDonnells have said the Ferrari needed to be driven back to Richmond so they obliged. Williams is saying he paid to have it brought there.

Just before a 15 minute break, Williams was testifying about a charity auction he attended with the McDonnells. The charity was auctioning off a weekend trip to NYC with the McDonnells. He said he was the only bidder and bid against himself.

Williams spent roughly $14K at the event and also bought a child's painting. He sat with the McDonnells at the event.

Williams testified that he loaned former AG Jerry Kilgore his plane, but said he never gave him direct cash or anything to Kilgore's kids.

Williams hired Jerry Kilgore to help him with Tobacco Commission but claimed that he was "unaware" Kilgore's twin is on the commission.

Williams was insistent several times on the stand that he was only helping the McDonnells because he was convinced it would help Star. Williams said he had many conversations about making sure that no one knew about the help he was giving them.

"I didn't want anyone to know I was helping the governor financially with his problem and he was helping my company," said Williams.

Williams told of a meeting with Bob McDonnell, where they first spoke of getting movement on research at UVA & VCU, then Williams and Bob McDonnell spoke specifically about a complex plan for Williams to help provide funds for the beach house mess.

"I made a bad decision," said Williams. "I thought the ends justified the means for what I was doing for Virginia. I wish I never wrote those checks."

The complex stock transfer scheme Williams had cooked up to give McDonnell help wouldn't work because of disclosure for both sides.

Williams admitted on the stand that he lied to the FBI during their first interview with him about the investigation. He told the FBI in that first meeting that he did not ask or get anything in return for the gifts/loans he gave the McDonnells.

Williams also told the courtroom that he suggested his own personal chef to McDonnell after Todd Schneider left the EM Service. Williams said the McDonnells could use "Chef Leo" except on Christmas and Thanksgiving. He then 'poked' McDonnell by sending pics of Leo on those days.

Williams said that Maureen McDonnell helped facilitate the placement of Anatabloc in the rooms of the Govs at an NGA event in Williamsburg. The prosecution also pressed Williams on a trip to Chatham, MA with the McDonnells where he bought $5k cognac and charged the trip to Star. Asked why he charged the trip (which included RGA ED Phil Cox) on the Star account, Williams said, "I was working the entire weekend."

Williams has been the only witness since 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and cross examination has yet to start.

Ryan Nobles is in the courtroom and will provide updates throughout the day. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanobles.

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