d703ccf795e15f4b2ece60b503df9bc4_MA jury found former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen guilty of a slate of public corruption charges on Thursday, rejecting the couple’s defense that their marriage was too broken for them to conspire and that they didn’t break the law by accepting lavish gifts in exchange for backing a wealthy donor’s business.

Mr. McDonnell was convicted on 11 conspiracy-related counts, and Mrs. McDonnell was convicted on nine counts, including conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The couple had pleaded not guilty to 14 charges each.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for about 48 hours after hearing testimony for more than a month in federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The courthouse is a short walk from the governor’s mansion the McDonnells inhabited from 2010 through January of this year.

Mr. and Mrs. McDonnell, who have five children, face lengthy federal prison sentences and hefty fines. Sentencing is expected Jan. 6.

Mr. McDonnell broke down in tears, covering his face with his hands, as the verdict was read. Mrs. McDonnell maintained a serious expression and appeared to fight tears. Many family members in the audience fought tears, and daughter Cailin McDonnell cried loudly and was comforted by the family priest.

With their verdict, jurors accepted the prosecution’s argument that the McDonnells wrongfully used their position to promote a company, then known as Star Scientific Inc., by arranging meetings for founder?Jonnie Williams Sr. with state officials and hosting events at the governor’s mansion.

The prosecution showed jurors a Rolex watch and a pile of designer clothes that were among $177,000 in loans and gifts from Mr. Williams to the McDonnells.

Mr. McDonnell, the former state attorney general, testified that he made the same type of introductions for Mr. Williams as he would for any Virginia businessman and he had done nothing wrong.

Mrs. McDonnell didn’t take the stand, but was described by her own lawyer and her daughter as depressed, unhappy and prone to fits of temper. Mrs. McDonnell’s attorney said she had a “crush” on Mr. Williams and she backed his dietary supplement out of affection for him and interest in nutrition products.

Moreover, the defense maintained that the McDonnells couldn’t conspire to defraud anyone, because they were barely speaking.

The testimony revealed a wide gap between the picture-perfect image of the couple in public and their tumultuous relationship behind closed doors, where thrown objects and fights about money were commonplace.

Mr. McDonnell, a former Republican presidential hopeful, testified that his 38-year marriage had been rocky for at least a decade. He told the jury that he had moved in with his parish priest so he could avoid rehashing the trial and events leading up to it every night with his wife.

Prosecutors urged jurors to disregard testimony about the state of the McDonnell marriage, which they said was an effort by the defense to distract from official acts taken by the former governor in coordination with his wife.

Prosecutors told jurors that Mr. McDonnell, 60 years old, knew that Mr. Williams expected help in return for his largess, and readily provided it.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Dry cited the inaugural speech where Mr. McDonnell quoted Scripture, saying: “To whom much is given, much will be required.”

“Mr. Williams gave you and your family approximately $177,000 in gifts and loans, didn’t he?” Mr. Dry asked.

Mr. McDonnell quietly responded, “yes.”

In his defense, the former governor testified that his administration had been “money-blind, colorblind.”

“We don’t make decisions based on money,” he said, of his administration.

The verdict is a vindication for the Justice Department’s public integrity unit, which has been seeking to regain its momentum after a North Carolina jury failed to convict former U.S. Sen.?John Edwards?in a 2012 campaign-finance case.



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