Sentencing for McMahans delayed

Thursday, November 6th 2008, 12:05 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

MUSKOGEE, Okla. -- The judge delayed the sentencing of Former State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan and his wife Lori Thursday.

The McMahan's learned that they have at least another month of freedom. The judge wants to hear from their lawyers as to why he should give them lenient sentences.

Former State Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan and his wife Lori arrived at the Federal Courthouse, expecting sentences, and not answering questions.

"I can't say much right now, thank you," Jeff McMahan said.

The two were convicted of felonies for conspiracy and accepting bribes. Federal sentencing guidelines say Jeff should get eight to 10 years in prison; Lori should get six to eight. Lori's lawyer argues that's too much and said she is remorseful.

"I don't think that they need to go or Lori needs to go for the full extent of what the guidelines say," Kevin Krahl, Lori McMahan's lawyer, said.

In court, Jeff McMahan's lawyer asked for house arrest, instead of prison.

"I believe my client is innocent, even though he's been convicted," Rand Eddy, Jeff McMahan's lawyer said. "They have a very close relationship with a son and a daughter, and obviously, if one or both were to go to prison it would devastate the family."

On the other side, federal prosecutors say the McMahans are unwilling to accept responsibility and there's no reason to not reduce the possible sentences.

"I think it's important that in circumstances where the electoral process or public service have been subverted that the piper is paid," Sheldon Sperling, Oklahoma Eastern District U.S. Attorney, said.

After that, the judge did not sentence either McMahan. Instead, they left the courthouse, surrounded by friends and family.

The judge said there are complex issues and he's looking for deep thought regarding the sentencing. The McMahan's lawyers now have 10 days to file a brief explaining why the judge should give them sentences less than the federal guidelines.

Prosecutors will have 10 days to respond to what McMahans' lawyers say. It's unclear when the McMahans will appear in court again.