Supreme Court: McDonnell can stay out of prison... for now

Supreme Court: McDonnell can stay out of prison... for now

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Supreme Court of the United States ordered Monday that former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell may stay out of prison for now, while the court weighs whether or not it will hear the appeal on his corruption case.

McDonnell was convicted by a jury in September 2014 in a political scandal where he gave favors to former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. In January, he was sentenced to two years behind bars, but to date he has remained free as he appeals his conviction.

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The Supreme Court is the last chance for McDonnell  to stay a free man. He has remained out of prison while his latest appeal was decided. The former Republican governor was once widely considered a possible running mate to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Supreme Court does not begin its new session until October, and NBC12 has learned McDonnell's petition to the court is not due until early November. It may then take several more weeks before the justices decide whether or not to hear his appeal.

That means it will be most likely near the end of the year before we know if the case will be heard, and McDonnell will remain out of prison at least until then.

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