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.
8:57AM And it's the Friday morning before we take a nice little break for the holidays. Things are pretty quiet here at the U.S. Courthouse. Originally we weren't scheduled to have a court session today but I think after the many breaks in the trial Judge Nancy Edmunds decided we should forge ahead today. After today, the next court session will be on January 3rd 2003
Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson walk into the courtroom together. Kwame's got his Clark Kent glasses and a bow tie on today. Bernard Kilpatrick has been sitting at the defendants' table for some time. He's always first of the defendants to the courtroom.
We'll finish off with some final cross-examination of government witness Bernard Parker and it looks like next witness might be Marc Andre Cunningham, an ex-executive assistant to the former Detroit mayor. We saw a sneak peek of him on the video monitor as he quickly peered into the courtroom.
All the lawyers exit the courtroom. I'm assuming they are headed to Judge Edmunds's chambers.
We are wondering here in the media room if there will be a moment's silence in the courtroom today in remembrance of the Newtown tragedy last week.
9:17AM Prosecutors are back in the room. I thought there would be defense cross-examination of Bernard Parker III but it looks like prosecutor Michael Bullotta is putting documents on the podium.
Still waiting to get started. Defense and Judge Edmunds not even in the room yet. Wondering if we start the session with a moment of silence. Defense lawyers still not back so defendants are sitting alone at the table with Ferguson's handler guy.
And defense lawyers and the judge are back. Here comes Marc Andre Cunningham, he was convicted of bribing a city official in 2010.
9:24AM Judge tells jury that defense has decided to not re-cross Bernard Parker. Also, being told there will be no trial on Wednesday, January 9th. Cunningham takes the stand and Bullotta questions for the government. This guy doesn’t not look happy to be on the stand. Squirming in his seat. Says he met Kwame at Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, were in the same fraternity. Alpha Phi Alpha. They were in college between 1988 and 1992. In 1995, after college, took a job with Ameritech Cellular that became Verizon in Chicago. He was an account manager, customer service, sales, loss prevention, project management. Was all over the place over 10 years. Transferred to Elgin, Illinois at one point Witness is originally from Louisville, KY. In 2004, Cunningham came to Detroit to do business. Kwame had suggested it so he moved his family here. The job he had at the time was flexible.
Wife Laurie and 3 kids moved to Novi with him.
Guess no moment of silence today. That's too bad.
Christmas 2004- had a conversation with Kwame regarding the use of Kilpatrick's SKYTEL pager. Discussed all the text info on SKYTEL pagers were store somewhere. Cunningham suggested Blackberries because they were encrypted better and they wouldn't have to worry about people getting a hold of their text messages.
So Kwame got rid of pagers and they got 5 Blackberries. witness says initially Ferguson paid for them.
Witness indicates Ferguson, "That's one of Kwame’s best friends." "Kwam" is his nickname for Kwame.
Blackberries: one for mayor, Carlita, Christine Beatty and Ferguson.
We'll be talking about Syncom Company. Looking at 3 texts.
Text exchange between January 2nd 2005- mayor and Cunningham
Mayor : What's up with the blackberries bruh
January 12th 2005- Cunningham and Kwame
Mayor: Call me at 938 need to talk about phones ASAP.
February 4th 2005- Cunningham and Mayor
Forward from mayor: Starting tomorrow my 2way address is: detroitmayor@vzx... Mayor KK
Cunningham saying Blackberries a more secure network.
About 6 months after getting blackberries, took the phones out of Ferguson's name and put them in Kwame's name. Kwame didn't want them to be in the city's name. Ferguson stopped paying and the mayor started paying in cash and credit cards. Witness didn't see bills.