Md. man who faked death gets 7 years in prison

September 19, 2011 - 2:15 PM

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A defiant Maryland man who faked his death by jumping into the Chesapeake Bay near Virginia Beach has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison.

Sixty-year-old Larry Deffenbaugh was convicted in May of conspiracy and communicating a false distress signal.

Deffenbaugh's brother reported him missing from a fishing boat they had rented in 2009, two days before he was to be sentenced on a probation violation in Maryland. Coast Guard crews searched for Deffenbaugh for 15 hours. He was found in Texas last year using a different name.

Deffenbaugh maintained that he was innocent during sentencing Monday. He compared himself to a falsely accused Jesus during a lengthy speech.

He's been ordered to pay more than $200,000 restitution to the Coast Guard.