Ronnie Gilley asks for reduction in prison sentence - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Ronnie Gilley asks for reduction in prison sentence

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File Photo: Ronnie Gilley addresses the media following his sentencing process. File Photo: Ronnie Gilley addresses the media following his sentencing process.
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

"As hard as it is to say, this is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me," an emotional Ronnie Gilley told reporters on July 16, 2012 as he learned of his prison sentence.

Just over a year later, the former Country Crossing developer has a decidedly different view, saying he wants his prison sentence reduced because he says his lawyer did an ineffective job of representing him.

Gilley, who was sentenced late last year after being convicted of multiple bribery and money laundering charges, now says he believes he shouldn't have gone to prison in the first place.

He says his attorney told him if he pleaded guilty he'd only get probation or house arrest. Instead, he got an 80 month federal prison term.

The conviction was part of a larger investigation into bribery connected to proposed gambling legislation in Alabama. Gilley's new attorney is asking the judge to reduce his client's sentence because the original attorney misled Gilley and failed to call at least one witness who would have helped his case.

A motion for a new sentencing hearing has now been filed, but there's an interesting twist. As part of Gilley's original plea agreement, he agreed that he would not challenge his sentence or come back and say he had ineffective counsel.

The new attorney is arguing that Gilley didn't realize at the time that his lawyer was not adequately representing him or that he could not ask for a review of his lawyer's actions.

Gilley's request is in stark contrast to emotional statements he made immediately following the sentencing on July 16, 2012 when he told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Montgomery that he did not regret entering a guilty plea and "hopefully this will shed some light on the corruption that does exist..."

Apologies to the people of Alabama were followed by Gilley saying, "What profit a man if he conquer the world and loses his soul in the process?"

Gilley has served just over 8 months of his 80 month sentence.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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