WASHINGTON -- John Dean III, President Nixon's chief accuser in the Watergate scandals, was sentenced Friday to 1 to 4 years prison for conspiracy in the cover-up.
U.S. District Judge John J. Sirica rejected requests by lawyers, for both Dean and special prosecutor Leon Jaworski to delay the sentencing.
Sirica released Dean on personal bond and ordered that he not begin his term until Sept. 3 because his wife's mother is seriously ill in California and he is helping to care for her.
"I admire him for that," Sirica observed as he imposed sentence. He could have sentenced Dean to five years in prison and fined him $10,000 for his guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy in the Watergate cover-up.
"As I stand here at the mercy of court, the only thng I ask for is your compassion and understanding," Dean said. "I have done wrong, and I realize the wrong that I have done.
"I was involved in a corruption of government and abuse of high office. To say I am sorry is not enough. I have done everything I can in the last 18 months to right the wrong. Whatever the court judges me, I will continue the same course."
Dean is the second high former Nixon aide to be sentenced this week. John Ehrlichman, former domestic adviser to the President, was given a term of 20 months to five years in prison on Monday for conviction in the Ellsberg break-in case. Ehrlichman is among the former high Nixon aides charged in next month's cover-up trial.