Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell asked a judge for mercy for his wife, as well as himself, before being sentenced to two years in prison for public corruption.

It was a much lighter sentence than prosecutors wanted. And legal experts say it likely foreshadows similar treatment for Maureen McDonnell when she's sentenced next month for her role in the bribery scandal.

Defense attorney Scott Fredericksen and College of William and Mary Law School professor Jeff Bellin are both former federal prosecutors. They agree the outcome of Tuesday's hearing points to a probable minimal sentence for the former first lady.

A jury in September convicted the McDonnells of corruption for taking more than $165,000 in gifts and loans from wealthy vitamin entrepreneur Jonnie Williams in exchange for promoting his products.