McDonnell’s commutation of Blount sentence struck down

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell’s commutation of Travion Blount’s sentence has been struck down.

Blount was sentenced to six life terms, plus 118 years for a 2006 armed robbery he committed when he was 15. Two other people, 18-year-olds, were also involved.

Blount said he made off with about $60. Police caught him a few days later, and against his lawyer’s advice, Blount refused to take a plea deal. He was convicted of 49 felonies. He was expected to spend the rest of his life in prison until McDonnell stepped in and reduced Blount’s sentence to 40 years.

“We were pleased because Mr. Blount will wake up every morning no longer facing the rest of his life in a penitentiary, but disappointed because the other two co-defendants got 10 and 13 years,” said John Coggeshall, Blount’s lawyer.

Wednesday, a judge ruled the commutation of Blount’s sentence was unconstitutional.

“Of course the Attorney General’s Office said, ‘no, it’s fine,'” Coggeshall said. “Then yesterday the federal court came out and said no it’s not valid.”

Coggeshall said the ruling means he can move forward with Blount’s federal case. He plans to ask Governor Terry McAuliffe to issue a conditional pardon for his client.

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