DETROIT -

9:00 a.m.

Judge Edmunds takes the stand after a 9-day break.

"Mr. Evelyn. How nice to see you back." She tells Ferguson attorney Gerald Evelyn.

Judge Edmunds: "I have instruction we’ve agreed on in respect to Mr. Mercado."

Before the jury is brought in, the attorneys and judge are meeting at a sidebar.

Kwame Kilpatrick is at the table, chatting with friend and co-defendant, Bobby Ferguson.

Not only is Victor Mercado not here after his surprise guilty plea, the entire table and chairs where he and his two attorneys were sitting are gone.

Edmunds is now instructing the jury, welcoming them back after the "unplanned" break.

"I do have an instruction to give you in respect to the absence of Mr. Mercado. When you came in you may notice Mr. Mercado is no longer a part of this trial. I instruct you that you are not to speculate about the absence of Mr. Mercado."

Edmunds goes on to tell the jury that they are considering this case and the defendants separately, that they are only be tried together as a matter of convenience.

"I want to emphasis again that the remaining defendants have entered pleas of not guilty. The burden of proof is still with the government and never shifts to the defendants."

Now court is back in session.

Gerald Evelyn is back questioning Thomas Hardiman.

Hardiman is a city contractor and was on the witness stand two weeks ago when Evelyn suddenly got sick and had to sit down. Evelyn was eventually rushed to the hospital.

Tom Hardiman

Hardiman says he was once a co-owner of Lakeshore Engineering.

Hardiman has testified that he gave millions to Bobby Ferguson to get his firm city contracts.

When he didn’t cut Ferguson in, he testified his firm lost out on millions in Detroit water department contracts.

9:50 a.m.

Attorney Evelyn’s style is to ask a question about every 3.5 seconds in rapid-fire fashion to get a one word response.

His voice didn’t sound as strong when he began, but now he’s back in a groove, peppering Hardiman with a list of questions focusing on all of the issues he and Ferguson agree on: helping minority business, education, taking care of family.

"We both cared about the city of Detroit and about African Americans," Hardiman said. "We would talk about the areas of increasing the hiring of African Americans in the city of Detroit."

Hardiman testified that he was quite close with Ferguson.

Evelyn is now showing a subcontract agreement between Lakeshore Engineering and another subcontractor, DCG.

They’re reading the "scope of services."