Gov. Guy Hunt's Attorney First Publicly Speaks out to WAFF 48 News on Siegelman

Gov. Guy Hunt's Attorney First Publicly Speaks out to WAFF 48 News on Siegelman

Wednesday, a federal judge adopted sentencing guidelines that might not mean the best of news for former Governor Don Siegelman.

WAFF 48's Jeanie Powell sat down with a prominent local defense attorney to get his insight on Siegelman's sentencing hearing.

Mark McDaniel thinks it's now going to come down to just how much time Siegelman receives.

In his first public statement, McDaniel, who represented former Alabama Governor Guy Hunt, sets the record straight on why his client got probation and why that might not be the case for this public official.

McDaniel says Guy's outcome, probation, doesn't seem likely for Siegelman.

"There's a lot of difference in those cases.  One thing is Governor Hunt received a full pardon."

There are sentencing guidelines created for federal courts to review and consider.

The judge doesn't have to take this recommendation, but often times does.

McDaniel says, "They'll have a recommended range of sentencing there by the federal sentencing guidelines and then the prosecutor can object and the defense can object."

The prosecution agrees, the defense doesn't.

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller could hear from new witnesses, and rule more lenient or harsher in his decision.

The guidelines are a compilation of criminal history in relation to the level of offense.

Siegelman could have more time added because he was in public office when the offense was committed.

McDaniel says, "When the judge is looking at, did these people accept responsibility?... No, they haven't and so that is something that could be an upward departure."

Critics claim Siegelman is being unfairly targeted.

Jeanie asked McDaniel, "Having represented Governor Hunt, do you seen any parallels here?"

He responded, "There have been editorials written about it.  There have been a lot of stories and articles written about how this is a Republican prosecuting a Democrat; I just remind everyone, Steve Faga was working for a Democratic Attorney General when he prosecuted Governor Hunt who was Republican."

McDaniel describes Faga as a fair and honorable prosecutor.

Be sure to catch WAFF 48 News Thursday for the latest on the Siegelman sentencing hearing. Susie Edwards, who has covered this case from the beginning, will have complete coverage from the state capitol.