DETROIT - The attorneys are rested, the jurors refreshed and the defendants - at least three of them are ready to get back to the fight of their lives.
--Evelyn, far left, walking into federal court in Detroit
It was a scary moment when attorney Gerald Evelyn was rushed to the hospital. Tests showed he was fatigued. After resting for two weeks he is ready to return to court. That is not the case for Victor Mercado. The former water department boss pleaded guilty during the break to a conspiracy charge with a maximum prison term of 18 months. Jurors will be told he is no longer a part of the trial and they need not worry about why.
"They have to make sure what happens in this particular case is that the jury has not been tainted, they haven't heard this and it doesn't come into the equation with their deliberations," said Todd Flood, Local 4 legal expert.
Flood say the lengthy break and the guilty plea could make life tougher for the remaining defendants.
So far in the trial, prosecutors scored points showing how Kilpatrick abused the non-profit civic fund. Witnesses like Emma Bell said she paid kickbacks to Kwame Kilpatrick. Mahlon Clift said he delivered cash from Bobby Ferguson to Kwame Kilpatrick to avert the attention of the FBI. Jon Rutherford said he paid bribes in hopes of getting a casino deal. The defense scored points showing that Bobby Ferguson was the go-to guy because big events like the Super Bowl and Final Four were coming to town and the work needed to be done by a local guy who could be trusted to do the work right - on time and under budget.
Businessman Tom Hardiman is on the stand Tuesday. The defense will cross examine the businessman who says he lost work because he refused to hire Bobby Ferguson.
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