A nuclear scientist and his wife pleaded guilty for the second time in federal court on Tuesday for attempting to sell nuclear secrets to a foreign power after their first plea deal was rejected by a judge who said their sentences were too lenient.
Jonathan Toebbe, 42, and his wife, Diana, a former humanities teacher at a private school, were arrested and charged in October. The Maryland couple pleaded guilty to one felony count each of conspiracy to communicate restricted data.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Gina Groh rejected their first plea, saying the punishment did not fit the crime. Jonathan’s attorneys had called for a sentencing range between 12 years and 17.5 years, while his wife would get three years.
Under the new plea agreement brought before another judge, the couple could face a maximum of life in prison and a $100,000 fine.