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Judge stands by Carona's conviction

March 31, 2009 1:52:48 PM PDT
A federal judge has refused to throw out the conviction for witness-tampering against former Orange County Sheriff Michael Carona. A lawyer for Carona argued that prosecutors charged the former sheriff under the wrong statute, thus nullifying the conviction.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Guilford denied that motion, along with two others aimed at undoing the verdict.

The case against Carona followed a long federal investigation. Prosecutors had accused Carona had named millionaire businessman Don Haidl to the post of assistant sheriff in exchange for gifts worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

January, a federal jury found Carona guilty of witness tampering, and acquitted him of five other felony counts, including conspiracy and mail fraud.

The probation department has recommended a prison sentence of 6.5 years in prison for Carona. Sentencing is scheduled to take place April 27.


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