Die is cast for McTiernan in wiretap case
Director gets four months in prisonMore than a year after admitting he lied to the FBI about his association with Anthony Pellicano only to later try to retract it, "Die Hard" director John McTiernan was sentenced Monday to four months in a federal prison.
McTiernan appeared at a morning hearing in Los Angeles federal court to argue why his April 2006 guilty plea should be withdrawn.
His lawyers argued that the director rushed to find an attorney after having a phone conversation with an FBI agent who asked him about hiring Pellicano, theinfamous Hollywood private investigator who has pleaded not guilty to charges in a 111-count indictment accusing him of wiretapping and bribing police to obtain information on celebrities and others.
McTiernan denied knowing Pellicano to the agent. He later admitted to hiring the private eye to wiretap producer Charles Roven in 2000.
Roven worked with McTiernan on 2002's "Rollerball." McTiernan produced and directed the film, and Roven was a producer.
But now McTiernan claims that his former lawyer, John Carlton, failed to advise him of possible defenses, including that the government's evidence is tainted because its evidence was a phone conversation with McTiernan, illegally taped by Pellicano.
McTiernan also argued that when he spoke with the FBI agent, he was on vacation in Wyoming and had consumed two classes of wine while on anti-depressants.
But U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer was not convinced.
"I find these arguments completely lacking in credibility," Fischer said at the hearing.
Prosecutors claimed that McTiernan knew exactly what he was pleading to and submitted a declaration by Carlton, who stated that he explained the entire process to the director and that his guilty plea was "entirely his decision."
The judge also ordered McTiernan to pay a $100,000 fine and to turn himself in before Jan. 15.
Milton Grimes, McTiernan's attorney, said outside the court that he would appeal, which could postpone his surrender date.
McTiernan is set to direct "Run" in Argentina for Arclight Films.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.