NORFOLK, Va., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, before leaving office Saturday, commuted the sentence of Travion Blount to 40 years.
Blount was one of 22 inmates in the Virginia penal system serving life sentences for crimes other than homicide, the (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot reported Monday.
Blount, now 23, was 15 when he and two older teens targeted a known drug dealer's house for a robbery in September 2006.
When they arrived they found a house party in progress. The three entered, pulled guns and each stole small amounts of marijuana and cash. No shots were fired. Police arrested them shortly thereafter.
Prosecutors offered Blount a plea deal, which his lawyer John Coggeshall advised his client to accept, that would have limited him to 18 years in prison but Blount refused, stating he was not guilty of some of the charges included in the deal.
Prosecutors then charged Blount with four felonies for each of the party attendee victims, 49 counts in all. The case went to trial and a jury convicted Blount on all of them. A circuit court judge handed down the sentence of six life terms plus 118 years in prison.
Blount will now be eligible for release when he is in his 50s,