ORLANDO, Fla. - A jury delivered a guilty verdict in the perjury trial of former Windermere police Chief Daniel Saylor Wednesday. Immediately following the verdict, the judge gave Saylor an 8-year prison sentence.
Saylor was charged with perjury for allegedly giving false testimony last year before his friend, Scott Bush, was convicted for child rape.
Saylor begged Circuit Judge Jenifer Davis for mercy before he was led away, according to Channel 9's Kathi Belich.
"Your honor, don't know what to really say to you. I still believe what I said was the truth," said Saylor. "I'm a single father with a daughter. I served my country and the state of Florida for many years and I find myself in this position now. I don't know what to say, your honor. Please have mercy on me."
Last week, Saylor turned down a plea offer from the state which included a five-year prison sentence.
"Sentence you to eight years, Department of Corrections," said Davis. "Credit for 13 days that you have served."
The jury deliberated for just over an hour before announcing they had reached a verdict.
Saylor dropped his head as the verdict was read.
Saylor testified on Wednesday and told the jury he was going through a lot of stress over the case.
Saylor wiped his eyes as he tried to convince the jury that he did not lie during Bush's trial last year. He claimed he was just offering his opinion based on what he was told by his subordinate officers.
Saylor said he was told that the Orange County Sheriff's Office had thoroughly investigated child rape accusations against Bush, and that the State Attorney's Office had decided not to prosecute Bush.
Saylor referred to a document stating that what the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said was unsigned, undated and was never seen by the Sheriff's Office, the State Attorney's Office or the Windermere police officer, whose name was on the document.
Prosecutor: "And you were never confused by the questions that he asked you, Mr. Bush's counsel?"
Saylor: "No, sir. He told me to tell the truth and I did."
Prosecutor: "And you never asked for clarification, right?"
Saylor: "No, sir. Why would I? I believed it was the truth, that's what I was told. I wouldn't jeopardize myself like that."
But Saylor had been told otherwise months earlier, when FDLE told him those agencies had no knowledge of the child rape accusations against Bush.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer believes Saylor did not do himself any favor by testifying, especially because he had to admit to the jury that he had been convicted four times for crimes of dishonesty.