Local 4 is inside the courtroom for the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Kilpatrick's dad Bernard Kilpatrick and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson. Each day we bring you information from inside federal court as it happens.
And so here we are, the last day in the courtroom for the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial before jury deliberations begin.
Yesterday we finished with defense closing arguments and we will move on to government rebuttal with US Attorney Mark Chutkow before the case is passed on to the jury for deliberation.
Kwame was reading the book of inspirational verses he has had throughout the trial. He passes it on to Bobby Ferguson who flips through and then hands it off to Bernard Kilpatrick.
Yesterday's closing arguments definitely finished on an emotional note. Ferguson's lawyer Gerald Evelyn got quite emotional at the end as he quoted from Martin Luther King Jr. He had Kwame wiping away tears and even a juror was crying openly.
9:00AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters. Immediate sidebar with counsel.
9:05AM Chutkow at the podium, ready to start with his rebuttal.
Good morning ladies and gentlemen.
Waiting for a juror.
In my opening statement in this case, in the evidence in trial, in my colleague's closing statement, this case has always been about bribery, extortion and fraud.
The defense has tried to say it was about the drive to help minority businesses. That agenda was a smokescreen for their real agenda which was to help themselves. They drove out white and black businesses.
If people got in their way, they crushed them.
First Odel Jones, when he confronted Ferguson about lack of safety equipment at the Book Cadillac. Ferguson was offended. Work opportunities for Jones dried up. He went to everyone for help.
"Odel Jones call your mama, lol." says Ferguson. "I know. And my sister," responds Kwame.
Tom Hardiman who went to congresswoman Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick.
Ferguson texts Kwame that they called his mother.
Talking about Jim Jenkins who had the temerity to not hire Bernard's client. So Bernard tried to get city regulators to drive him out of town.
A bid deal was made about Ferguson mentoring. All he could come up with was Simmons from E & T Trucking.
Hardiman cut Ferguson out and started working directly with E & T Trucking. Ferguson got furious he wasn't paid. So he went and tried to get E & T's certification pulled.
"This is not mentoring. This is knee-capping someone who was about to stand on his own."
Mr. Thomas in closing said that Ferguson was out in the cold who was digging sewers no one wanted. Tell that to Avinash Rachmale, Willi Hayes and McCormick who all wanted to work in the cold.
When Kwame came into office, first thing he did was to hold up 1368. They thought this was justified because Charlie Williams was a minority front. Williams was the former head of the DWSD.
Williams is now the head of a successful company. He wasn't a front.
Let's talk about the real fronts in this case. Akunna Olumba that Bernard tried to insert in a deal. Where are the boots on the ground on this?
They were going to use Daniel Ferguson as a trucker? Where is the transparency?