McDonnell to stay out of jail during Supreme Court appeal

McDonnell to stay out of jail during Supreme Court appeal

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will remain a free man during his appeals process.

On Thursday a federal appeals court granted his request to stay out of jail while he appeals his corruption convictions to the US Supreme Court.

The former Republican governor, once widely considered a possible running mate to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, was convicted last year of giving favors to former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. McDonnell's wife Maureen was also convicted.

Click here for full #McDonnells coverage

McDonnell was sentenced to 24 months in prison in the political scandal. McDonnell claims he was unaware of his wife's lavish New York City shopping spree, paid for by Williams, among other gifts the McDonnells received.

Williams resigned from Star Scientific amid the scandal, and later testified against the McDonnells. Cross-examination revealed the government granted Williams immunity in July 2013, six months before the McDonnells were indicted.

During the trial, Bob McDonnell testified he and his wife Maureen were no longer living together and said they began living separate lives 20 years ago. He said their marriage began to fail as his political career began to take off.

Maureen McDonnell faces 12 months and one day in prison on her federal corruption charge.

A three-judge panel of the court unanimously upheld McDonnell's convictions in July, while the full 15-member court said on Tuesday that it won't reconsider that panel's ruling.

Copyright 2015 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved