Texas appeals court overturns Tom DeLay money laundering conviction

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay arrives at court for his sentencing hearing on Jan. 10, 2011 in Austin, Texas.

A Texas appeals court on Thursday overturned the 2010 conviction of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

DeLay, a Republican, had been sentenced to three years in prison after he was found guilty of money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering by illegally routing $190,000 in corporate donations to candidates for the Texas Legislature in 2002.

His sentence had been delayed while he appealed his conviction.

In a 2-1 decision, the Third District Court of Appeals ruled there was insufficient evidence to convict DeLay.

“The fundamental problem with the State’s case was its failure to prove proceeds of criminal activity,” the court said in its ruling.

“Because we conclude that the evidence was legally insufficient to support DeLay’s convictions, we reverse the judgments of the trial court and render judgments of acquittal.”

A lawyer representing DeLay told the Associated Press that his client was “ecstatic” and "just a little bit numb."

"I'm hoping with today's victory, he will be able to resume his life as he once knew it," Brian Wice was quoted as saying.

DeLay served as majority leader from 2003 to 2005. He left Congress in 2006.