IT Guru John Donovan Found Guilty of Faking His Own Shooting

Donovan was sentenced to 200 hours of community service, two years of probation, and fined $625.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

August 20, 2007

2 Min Read

Former MIT professor John Donovan Sr., an entrepreneur who started several high-tech companies and authored several books on IT, has been found guilty of faking his own shooting. A Massachusetts judge, however, ignored a plea by prosecutors that he be sentenced to jail.

Charged with faking the shooting in December 2005, Donovan has maintained he was attacked by Russian hit men who he believed were hired by family members.

Calling Donovan's actions "nothing short of bizarre and premeditated," Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman sentenced Donovan to 200 hours of community service and a two-year probation. He also was fined $625.

Donovan, a multimillionaire said to be worth well over $100 million earned partly as an author and speaker, has been locked in a bitter family feud with his son James and his three daughter over trust funds. A second son, John Donovan, has not been a part of the fight.

Donovan, 65, called law enforcement authorities on the night of Dec. 16, 2005, claiming two hit men had opened fire at him, peppering his car with bullets and wounding him slightly in the stomach. At the same time, he claimed intruders broke into his home in suburban Boston.

Prosecutors, however, said surveillance cameras at the shooting scene had been moved twice before the alleged attack. They also produced a "to-do" note that Donovan wrote before the shooting that they said listed "bullets" and "shells," indicating that he planned the shooting.

In a statement, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said the judge's guilty verdict "marks the end to a very long and sad chapter for the Donovan family. We hope that this verdict will give family members some peace of mind, and we believe that John Donovan Sr. has been held accountable for his attempted manipulation of the criminal justice system for his own purposes."

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