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Prosecutors and lawyers for Margaret Hunter ask court for new sentencing date

Margaret Hunter on the day of her arraignment Aug. 23, 2018.
Margaret Hunter, wife of Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine), heads to court in San Diego last August before their arraignment on accusations of illegally spending campaign funds on personal expenses.
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

Federal prosecutors and attorneys for Margaret Hunter, wife of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, asked the court Tuesday to push to December her sentencing on one count of conspiracy.

The count names her husband as her sole co-conspirator.

In a two-page document filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, the lawyers asked to have the date for Margaret Hunter’s sentencing moved from Sept. 16 to Dec. 2. Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty in June to the conspiracy charge, one of 60 counts included in an indictment against herself and her husband.

The indictment accuses Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) and Margaret Hunter, his former campaign manager, of using more than $250,000 of Hunter’s political money for personal expenses such as their children’s private school tuition, oral surgery, a family vacation to Italy, and his extramarital affairs.

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Both Margaret and Duncan Hunter pleaded not guilty to the indictment in August 2018. Margaret Hunter changed her plea in June, while her husband continues to fight the charges.

Duncan Hunter’s trial is scheduled for trial Sept. 10.

As part of her plea deal, Margaret Hunter agreed to help prosecutors and testify against her husband. The court has deferred until Duncan Hunter’s trial a ruling on whether she will be allowed to testify.

According to the motion filed Tuesday: “The parties respectfully request that Ms. Hunter’s sentencing hearing be scheduled for December 2, 2019 (or any other convenient date for the Court), so that the trial of Co-Defendant Duncan Hunter is able to be completed prior to Ms. Hunter’s sentencing hearing in light of her ongoing cooperation obligations.”

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She faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced but is expected to receive a lighter sentence due to her cooperation.

Cook writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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