Updated 11/25/2010 10:02 AM
Jury finds DeLay guilty of money laundering
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Wednesday, Tom DeLay was convicted of felony money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
A Travis County jury went through state’s evidence for nearly 19 hours, before finding him guilty.
The verdict confirms the state's claims that said DeLay illegally pumped corporate dollars into Texas elections.
A 100-year-old Texas law makes it a felony to directly give political candidates money to spend on campaigns.
After hearing the word "guilty" twice, the former congressman left the 331st District Court with tears in his eyes.
"I'm not going to blame anybody. This is an abuse of power," DeLay said, minutes after the reading of the verdict. "It's a miscarriage of justice, and I still maintain that I am innocent."
But the jury believed otherwise.
Outside the courthouse, jurors refused to give reporters an on-camera interview. Off-camera two men on the jury said it was a hard decision to convict the former powerful politician.
Lead prosecutor Gary Cobb said the jury made the right choice.
"It's the outcome that we expected," he said. "We thought the citizens of Travis County would see this case for what it was: a corrupt politician who was caught violating the laws of the state."
Cobb called DeLay’s daughter, Dani Garcia, to testify for the state.
Garcia was DeLay’s event planner. Her testimony helped the prosecution connect the dots of his ties with wealthy corporations.
Walking outside the courthouse with her father, Garcia said, "It's pretty tough. What can I say?"
DeLay has always said he never committed a crime and expected the jury to find him not guilty.
"I am very disappointed in the outcome," DeLay said.
At the end of the day Wednesday, Cobb said the Travis County Jury nailed "the Hammer" to the scales of justice for his crimes against the state.
"So many of these politicians act like they’re puppets or slaves to these moneyed interests, but what they have to understand is that the citizens of Texas demand that they do the peoples' work," Cobb said.
The sentencing portion of the trial is set to begin December 20, with Senior District Judge Pat Priest deciding Delay's punishment.
He faces five to 99 years in prison.