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Day Two of McDonnell Trial: Explosive Opening Statements

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On day two of the trial of Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, opening statements are expected to be given. On day two of the trial of Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen, opening statements are expected to be given.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - Day two of the corruption trial for Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen began Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. Yesterday, a jury was seated; both sides shared shocking opening statements, some of them speaking to the state of the McDonnell's marriage.

The Commonwealth told the jury that "Robert McDonnell was the most powerful official in Virginia" and said that he used his power to take more that $150,000 in cash, loans, vacations, golf, and luxury goods from Jonnie Williams to help him sell his product."

In a bombshell statement, Maureen McDonnell's attorney during opening statements says this was not a conspiracy between husband and wife and that the relationship between Bob and Maureen was broken and both barely spoke.

He added that the McDonnell's relationship was broken long before Johnnie Williams ever entered the picture. Also, Maureen never wanted to be First Lady, according to her attorney. She did, however, have great affection for Jonnie Williams because he gave her the attention she was desperately seeking, according to her attorney.

Bob McDonnell's defense attorney began his opening statement by stating, "Bob McDonnell is an innocent man." He added that Bob McDonnell was in favor of jobs and his relationship with Jonnie Williams was exclusively to help bring jobs to the state; nothing illegal happened, he stressed. 

In addition, Bob McDonnell's defense attorney says that the prosecution traveled to interview former presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann concerning their relationship with Bob McDonnell. Neither had anything negative to say about him, the attorney said.

Bob McDonnell's attorney labeled Jonnie Williams as "The Great Manipulator" and says the man is willing to testify against Bob McDonnell only to receive full immunity for other things that have nothing to do with McDonnell.

Bob McDonnell will take the stand and tell the jury the truth about everything that happened, said his attorney. Adding that he will hide from nothing they say.

Following a lunch recess, court resumed with the Commonwealth calling two witnesses to the stand. First was a man with the catering company used for the McDonnell's daughter, Cailin McDonnell Young's, wedding. He testified that he was given a check for $15,000 from "Starwood Trust." He said his boss told him to cash, not deposit the check; he was not able to cash it once he got the check so he did deposit it. Later, when there was a refund due, he was told by his boss again to make out the refund check, worth more that $5,000, to Maureen McDonnell. He did so. The catering employee also said Maureen never told him to make the check out to her.

The second witness called by the Commonwealth was the McDonnell's daughter, Cailin McDonnell Young. She testified about her wedding, stating that it was her intention to pay for it herself, along with her husband-to-be. She said she became angry when she found out her father Bob McDonnell paid for part of the catering and even yelled at him about it. Young broke down in tears on the witness stand after seeing photos of her parents at her wedding.

On Monday, the defense worked to cut a list of 150 potential jurors down to 12, eight men and four women, as well as a few alternates.

Bob McDonnell told media outside the courthouse Monday that he's glad the jury has been picked, and that he's looking forward to starting the defense on Tuesday.

McDonnell also said he appreciates his supporters during this tough time. 

The former first couple is charged with accepting more than $165,000 worth of loans and gifts from former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams.

McDonnell has denied any wrong-doing. The defense has argued that prosecutors stretched the definition of bribery in this case.

They say things like hosting receptions and arranging meetings with government officials are routine political courtesies.

The former first couple is facing decades in prison if convicted. The trial is expected to last at least five weeks.

Stay with 8News on air and online for continual updates throughout the day.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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