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Thursday, 24 July 2008

Donaghy's buddies have their moment of truth

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Today David Stern cringes again, as the newspapers will revisit his least favourite topic of the last 12 months: the Tim Donaghy saga. Indeed, perhaps he will even be happy that the sports columnists will be filling their quota with "Childress takes Greek deal" headlines, if it distracts from the fact that today Donaghy's high school friends and gambling co-conspirators will be sentenced in court.

"Thomas Martino, 42, of Marcus Hook, and James Battista, 42, of Phoenixville, are expected to be in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn, N.Y., for their roles in the betting scheme allegedly concocted by Donaghy."

"Martino entered a plea to a wire-fraud charge for his role in the betting scandal. It is expected he will receive no more than 18 months in jail under his plea deal. He could have gotten as much as 20 years in jail.

"Baba" Battista, described as a professional gambler, entered a similar deal. Battista at one point waffled on his deal, mulling going to trial, a move that would have negated Martino's deal with prosecutors as well. Battista eventually changed his mind after prosecutors offered a deal that allowed him to plead guilty to a lesser charge of conspiring to make illegal bets, according to his lawyer, Jack McMahon. Battista is likely to get 10 to 16 months in prison."

July 29 is the next big day on Mr Stern's calendar, as Tim Donaghy gets his sentencing. You'd have to think that there will be some very strictly refereed jailyard games coming up, given the body of evidence against Donaghy -- at least that which has been reported in the press.

"He is expected to receive a prison term in the neighborhood of two to three years when sentenced by Judge Carol Amon."

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