Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard sentenced to 4 years in prison

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Mike Hubbard sentencing
Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard looks toward his family after he was sentenced, Friday, July 8, 2016, in Opelika, Ala. [Photo Credit: Todd Van Emst/Opelika-Auburn News via AP]

Former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has been handed his sentence — a total of four years in prison, eight years on probation and ordered to pay a $210,000 fine — for 12 felony ethics violations for abusing his position by using the influence and prestige of his political offices to benefit his companies and clients.

Flanked by family and friends who arrived at the courthouse in support, Hubbard received his sentence Friday morning from Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker in the same Opelika courtroom where his long-awaited ethics’ trial took place last month.

Mike Hubbard walks into sentencing
Defense attorney Lance Bell walks Mike Hubbard and Susan Hubbard to the Lee County Justice Center on Friday, July 8, 2016, in Opelika, Ala. [Photo Credit: Todd Van Emst/Opelika-Auburn News via AP]

On June 10, Hubbard was convicted on 12 of 23 counts of corruption, which automatically removed the powerful Republican from both the Legislature and the speaker’s office, ending the upward trajectory of the one-time GOP star whose career previously appeared to have no limits.

Throughout Friday’s sentencing Hubbard kept silent, even after the Judge offered him a chance to speak. However, his Defense attorney Bill Baxley declared after the sentencing  was handed down, “I’ve seen very few people convicted by a jury that I felt were innocent… I can count on one hand. I believe with all my being, after everything we’ve gone though, Mike Hubbard is absolutely innocent of every charge.”

Outside the courtroom Baxley proceeded to call  the case a “witch hunt” and vowed to “appeal the case all the way.”

Despite his sentence, Hubbard will not immediately be taken to prison, as Judge Walker is allowing an appeal, which Hubbard has 42 days to make.

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