FORT WORTH-The woman convicted of illegally voting and sentenced to eight years behind bars is speaking out from the confines of the Tarrant County Jail.
Rosa Ortega, 37, fought back tears on Monday as she defended herself, insisting she simply didn't understand election laws when she voted for Republicans in 2012 and 2014 as a green card holder.
"It was a mistake. I didn't know," said the mother of four. "It was not knowing the difference."
She said she fully expected to be deported once her sentence is served, which could end up being closer to two years if she gets parole.
"I know if it was another type of person walking in there with the judge, or DA, they would've gotten probation," Ortega said.
The Tarrant County District Attorney's Office strongly pushed back against that assertion Monday night, saying Ortega was offered a plea deal over the summer, which she rejected.
Last week, District Attorney Sharen Wilson released a statement after Ortega's jury conviction and sentence:
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