CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Former four-star Gen. David Petraeus, who once headed the CIA, was one of the most distinguished leaders of his generation.
But at 1 p.m. Thursday, Petraeus arrived at the federal courthouse in Charlotte to plead guility in a scandal that has followed him for the past three years.
At 2:20 p.m., Petraeus entered a guilty plea for a misdemeanor charge for violating the Espionage Act.
By 3 p.m., he was sentenced to two years probation and the judge instituted a $100,000 fine, which was more than double the $40,000 fine requested by prosecutors and defense attorneys.
"This is going to be part of his biography for the rest of his life," said Charlotte attorney Jim Cooney.
Petraeus is accused of allowing his biographer and former mistress Paula Broadwell, of Charlotte, to have access to classified information.
Broadwell provided a photo statement following Petraeus' sentencing. She also tweeted it:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" width="300"><p><a href="http://t.co/exSVTxFXoz">pic.twitter.com/exSVTxFXoz</a></p>— Paula Broadwell (@paulabroadwell) <a href="https://twitter.com/paulabroadwell/status/591159046067060736</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
As he walked to the courthouse Thursday, he told reporter Jenna Deery he would make a statement after the hearing.
Petraeus is accused of lying about it to the FBI.
As the result of that breach, a plea agreement signed by Petraeus and federal prosecutors said Petraeus will plead guilty to a single misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material.
IMAGES: Channel 9 coverage of Gen. Petraeus sentencing
He is expected to receive a $40,000 fine and two years of probation. The deal calls for no active prison time for Petraeus.
It's likely the government's willingness to sign onto the plea agreement takes Petraeus' many accomplishments as commander in Iraq and Afghanistan into consideration, Cooney said.
IMAGES: David Petraeus, Paula Broadwell
"This is a man who was responsible for formulating the strategy that turned the tide in Iraq and probably saved hundreds, if not thousands, of American and Iraqi lives," Cooney said. "I think it's appropriate to recognize someone's service to their country in trying to determine what an appropriate agreement or arrangement would be."
Some critics said Petraeus should have known better than to share classified information and should be made an example of.
TIMELINE: David Petraeus affair
“In many ways he has been made an example of,” Cooney said. “He's pleading guilty to a crime. He's being publicly humiliated. He's lost his position with the CIA."
Thursday's expected guilty plea is still a win for Petraeus, Cooney said.
IMAGES: Anchor Erica Bryant sits down with Paula Broadwell
"He is not going to jail; he's not going to have a trial,” Cooney said. “He can get on with his life."