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.
9:13AM Much the same as in previous mornings this week, counsel is out of the courtroom and I'm assuming they are in judge's chambers hammering out end of trial details.
Last day of witness testimony before closing arguments in the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial and the courtroom is packed. Definite feeling of anticipation in the air.
9:15AM The lawyers are back. This thing is about to start.
9:18AM Judge Nancy Edmunds enters the courtroom.
Judge appears somewhat sentimental.
"February 6th, 5 months to the day", says Edmunds, that individual jurors walked in for jury selection and it is the last day of witness testimony.
CPA Gary Leeman will not be able to finish his testimony due to medical issues. Prosecution has waived need to cross examine and defense has waived need to redirect.
We will be hearing from 2 witnesses today. Gerald Evelyn, Bobby Ferguson's lawyer, has gone to get first witness.
9:25AM First witness is sworn in. Robert G Schneider II is his name. Works for Michigan CAT for 19 years- Caterpillar construction dealer. They sell construction equipment. Ferguson is a longtime client, knows him from about 1994-1995.
Ferguson has bought equipment from his company, several million dollars worth of equipment.
Witness looking over documents handed to him by Evelyn.
Ferguson purchased and rented equipment as well as repairs with the witness's company. And would buy parts- buy specialty attachments, "very innovative", to have advantage on certain jobs. For instance, hydraulic breaker to improve ability to do work. Witness says it would improve productivity.
Witness says that often time Ferguson would rent equipment and then if he liked it he would do 3rd party financing for purchasing.
Witness says the list that Evelyn showed him doesn't reflect everything that Ferguson purchased, per his memory.
Lists number of items purchased, total is $2,294,683.75.
Evelyn talking about Motor City Makeover to clean up the city. Evelyn asks if witness was ever approached to loan equipment for the project. Witness agrees that Ferguson approached him about it.
Witness says they demonstrated equipment for Ferguson. Ferguson picked up Caterpillar loaders: they cost between $600 to $700 to rent one daily.
Witness says that Ferguson got benefit of demonstration because he asked to help clean up the city and Michigan CAT thought it was a worthy cause. Ferguson provided transportation for the equipment: picked it up and brought it back.
Looking at pictures of the equipment. Looking at Caterpillar excavators and loaders. They cost about $40,000 or $50,000.
Looking at a picture of a Volvo piece of equipment that the witness did not even sell him.
Evelyn is done and the prosecution has no cross. On to the next witness.
9:39AM 5 minute break before the next witness.
10:00 AM Defense wraps. Lawyers discuss evidence issues with the judge.
9:50AM Judge Edmunds re-enters the courtroom. The witness is standing right behind Jim Thomas waiting to take the stand.