Three of the top administrators convicted of crimes in connection with the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal have been sentenced to serve seven years in prison, ajc.com is reporting.

The punishments for Tamara Cotman, Sharon Davis-Williams and Michael Pitts elicited gasps and sobs from spectators in the courtroom, the website says.

Five other educators were sentenced to at least a year in prison and fined, the website says.

Two who admitted guilt and waived their right to appeal were not sentenced to prison and an 11th defendant is to be sentenced in August, ajc.com said.

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Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.