“The judge did the right thing, but some are already saying the sentence isn’t long enough,” the insider says. “Josh didn’t think he was going to get off, but he, Anna and the family were prepared for a longer prison sentence — not that 12 years isn’t long … It’s bad, but it could have been worse.”
“[Anna] is relieved that it’s over,” the insider continues. “Now comes the hard decision, whether to stay and wait for Josh to come out or start her life over without him.”
Travis Story, Josh Duggar’s attorney, also spoke out following the sentencing. “We’re grateful the judge dismissed Count 2 and rejected the Government’s request for a 240-month sentence,” he told In Touch in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the fight on appeal.”
Anna has noticeably supported the 19 Kids and Counting alum, 34, throughout the trial. During his sentencing hearing on Wednesday, May 25, Anna appeared in “good spirits,” according to The Sun and was also the first person out of the family to arrive at the courthouse.
She was then captured by reporters leaving the courthouse immediately after the sentencing and avoided questions from press. After the judge’s ruling, her husband will either serve time at FCI Seagoville or Texarkana, Texas, rather than his home state of Arkansas.
Josh was found guilty in December 2021 of one count of possessing child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography. He was in custody in Fayetteville, Arkansas, until his May 25 sentencing hearing, which was originally scheduled for April 5 until Josh and his attorney filed a motion to postpone it.
Following the guilty verdict, Anna stood by his side throughout the remainder of the trial, with a separate insider later telling In Touch on May 13 that she “[didn’t] consider divorce.” However, one family member didn’t hesitate to voice their opinions against both Josh and Anna: cousin Amy Duggar.
“Josh has chosen how history will remember him,” Amy wrote in a message posted via Instagram on May 17. “By staying and supporting him, you’re allowing him to choose that for you, too. And I know standing up to all of this seems impossible now, but as a mama, your instinct to protect your kids always has to be stronger than your fear.”
The next day, Amy offered Anna a helping hand during an exclusive video interview with In Touch.
“I would tell her to call, to contact me, to come to my house and let me just, girl to girl, woman and woman and mama to mama, you know … just, I’m here,” she vowed before adding, “she doesn’t have to be trapped in this.”
Amy then explained that she has “room here for seven kids if we need to,” in reference to Anna’s children — Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus, Meredith, Mason, Maryella and Madyson — whom she shares with Josh.
“I hope she’s OK,” Amy said. “And I hope her kids are OK.”
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