AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A lawyer for a Mexican national sentenced to eight years in prison for voter fraud in Texas said that President Donald Trump’s widely debunked claims of election rigging was “the 800-pound gorilla” in the jury box.
Rosa Maria Ortega, 37, was convicted in Fort Worth this week on two felony counts of illegal voting over allegations that she improperly cast a ballot five times between 2005 and 2014.
Her attorney, Clark Birdsall, said Friday that Ortega was a permanent resident who was brought to the U.S. as a baby and mistakenly thought she was eligible to vote. He said she voted Republican, including for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, whose office helped prosecute her.
The sentence was stark — voter fraud convictions, which are rare, many times result in probation. And as a convicted felon, Ortega will very likely be deported after serving her sentence.
Tarrant County prosecutors say jurors made clear they value voting rights, but Birdsall said he believes Ortega would have fared better in a county with fewer “pro-Trump” attitudes.
Trump carried North Texas’ Tarrant County with 52 percent of the vote in November. Birdsall said he wanted to...Read More HERE