Judge Considers Punishing Olympic Champion Marion Jones Twice

The federal judge who will sentence former Olympic champion Marion Jones is considering punishing her twice — once for lying about her steroid use and once for lying about her role in a check-fraud scheme.

Judge Kenneth Karas served notice Thursday that he might go beyond the six-month maximum prison term suggested in Jones' plea deal, saying he "is not bound by that agreement"

He ordered both sides to advise him by Wednesday on whether he can do that, as well as on whether he can order Jones to serve the two sentences consecutively — one after the other. The sentencing is scheduled for Friday.

Jones pleaded guilty in October. Prosecutors said guidelines called for sentencing her to six months at most, and in papers filed last month they told Karas that anything between no time and six months would be appropriate.

Jones has asked the judge to let her off with probation, saying she has suffered enough with her fall from grace and her loss of five Olympic medals.

In the check-fraud scheme, Jones admitted lying about her knowledge of the involvement of track star Tim Montgomery, the father of her older son, in a scheme to cash millions of dollars worth of stolen or forged checks.

Karas noted the charges came after separate investigations.

"The court recognizes that there is a plea agreement between the parties," he wrote. "The court, however, is not bound by that agreement."

Jones' attorney, Henry DePippo, would not comment beyond saying he would comply with the judge's order.