DETROIT - After a jury found them guilty of multiple federal corruption charges Monday morning, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson were denied bond and ordered to go to prison while they await their sentencing.
Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, who was found guilty of one count of subscribing a false tax return in 2005, was not obligated to participate in the bond hearing.
The prosecution argued Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick were at risk of fleeing. Judge Nancy Edmunds made the decision to remand the men after a 2 p.m. detention hearing.
The former mayor and Ferguson could face up to 20 years in prison for their racketeering convictions alone.
Edmunds cited two cases that are most closely on point. With respect to Kwame Kilpatrick, the government pointed to a history in state court and access to large amounts of cash and the likelihood of a substantial sentence.
She said Kilpatrick was previously convicted on two felony counts and he showed disregard and contempt to the citizens of Detroit. In response, he has noted that he has no such failure to appear here and has appeared consistently when required to, the judge said.
"It is not unusual for persons to point to pretrial release orders ... ," she said. "Kilpatrick has asserted over and over that he is innocent and will not go to prison. That can no longer be said."
With respect to Ferguson, Edmunds said he has a conviction on assault and that he appears to have access to plenty of money though he denies that still exists.
"He has a history of intimidation which is evident in the testimony of officer Fountain and other witnesses whom he wanted to give false testimony to grand jury," the judge said. "I order that Mr. Kilpatrick and Mr. Ferguson be remanded to the U.S. Marshals for detention."
Edmunds said Bernard Kilpatrick can remain out on bond.
Kwame Kilpatrick and Ferguson removed their jackets, tie, belts, cuff links and any jewelry. Ferguson was holding his driver's license in his hand. Kilpatrick took his license out of his pocket, handed it to his mother and said to Ferguson, "We won't need this where we're going."
U.S. Marshals then put the men in hand cuffs and led them out of the courtroom. They were taken to the Federal Corrections Institute in Milan, Mich.
From left: Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick -- Sketch by Jerry Lemenu
Prosecution, defense arguments during detention hearing
Before the judge's decision, U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta said that based on Kilpatrick's characteristics the court should detain him. Bullotta said Kilpatrick disobeys parole officer orders by failing to report gifts and has a tether, a history of lying and misleading the courts and the ability to access large amounts of money, citing Mahlon Clift's testimony on $90,000.
The government believes that Ferguson still has access to large reserves of money, too. The third factor that the government cited for detaining the men is the court will impose substantial a prison sentence in this case.
Ferguson's attorney, Gerald Evelyn, argued his client has complied since September 2010, which shows that he can be trusted on bond. Evelyn said if the court was concerned about conviction and the case that is scheduled for another trial in another month, the court can also consider placing Ferguson on a tether. The record shows that Ferguson is a person who can be trusted on bond or alter it to be on tether, Evelyn said.
Breakdown of verdicts:
Kwame Kilpatrick faced 30 counts. He was found guilty on 24 counts. There was no consensus on three counts and he was found not guilty on three counts. Bobby Ferguson faced 11 counts and was found guilty of nine counts, no consensus on one count and not guilty on one count.
Bernard Kilpatrick faced four counts and was found guilty on the sole count of subscribing to a false tax return in 2005 -- Count 38. He was found not guilty on two counts: attempted extortion and a tax charge.
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