Kilpatrick Trial Coming to Close


Two famous figures, Monica Conyers and Sam Riddle are finally home after stints in prison for corruption, only to possibly see another former icon, the ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, return.

Today the defense in Kwame Kilpatrick’s public corruption trial is expected to rest its case. With testimony after testimony, and months and months of wrangling, it looks as if the trial that has rocked the city of Detroit is finally winding down.

Thus far, seven witnesses have testified for the defense, unfortunately none of them have been able to necessarily help the former Detroit mayor’s case. One of the defense witnesses, a tax expert, even went so far as to laugh in court when he testified about how Kilpatrick spent nonprofit funds for yoga lessons, saying such an expenditure was “not even close” to legitimate.

Prosecutors have argued that Kilpatrick used the mayor’s office as his very own personal bank account, while the defense has done its best to argue that Kilpatrick was a legitimate businessman. Gary Leeman is expected back on the stand today to talk more about the Kilpatrick Civic Fund and how the mayor managed it.

Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds sent jurors home without them hearing testimony and apologized. The defense and prosecution spent 45 minutes in the judge’s chambers as they discussed witness issues and evidentiary matters. Apparently they discussed what evidence the jury should be allowed to consider during deliberations, which is expected to start next week.

If convicted, Kilpatrick; his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, and his contractor friend Bobby Ferguson, could each face up to 20 years in prison. They are on trial in U.S. District Court on charges of running a criminal enterprise through the mayor’s office that included bid-rigging and extortion. 

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