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Former Rep. Duncan Hunter, prosecutors ask court to delay start of his prison sentence

Duncan Hunter
Screen capture from “The 50th: A scandal. A dynasy. An election” documentary showing Duncan Hunter walking into court on Dec. 3, 2019, where he plead guilty to misusing campaign finances.
(Sam Hodgson)

Both parties cite uncertainty around COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government and a lawyer for former Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) asked the court this week to move his date to surrender for his prison sentence to as late as Jan. 4 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors and the defense lawyer filed the joint motion in U.S. District Court for Southern California, according to court records. Hunter was scheduled to surrender this month to begin his 11-month sentence for conspiring to illegally convert more than $150,000 in campaign money to personal use.

Hunter pleaded guilty to the single felony count in December, and prosecutors dropped the remaining 59 charges in the indictment filed against Hunter and his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret, in August 2018.

He was sentenced on March 17 and was scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon to surrender for incarceration on May 29.

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The government and Hunter’s lawyer said in the motion filed Tuesday that delaying Hunter’s date to surrender was appropriate “due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the unknown impacts the disease will have in the coming months.”

In exchange for the government’s agreement to the motion, Hunter agreed not to seek a sentencing modification or any form of pre-surrender credit for home confinement toward his sentence, the motion said.

Margaret Hunter pleaded guilty to the conspiracy count in June in a plea agreement with prosecutors. She agreed to testify against her husband as part of the deal, and prosecutors agreed to drop the remaining 59 counts in the indictment.

As of Tuesday, she was scheduled to be sentenced at 9 a.m. June 8, according to court records.

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Cook writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.


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