Panel of judges to hear appeal from Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson


DETROIT – He asked for an appeal, and someone listened: A three-judge panel has agreed to hear an appeal from former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his former associate Bobby Ferguson.

The hearing at the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is scheduled for Jan. 13.

View: Notice from 6th Circuit Court

Kilpatrick is serving a 28-year prison sentence after being convicted on numerous corruption charges, including racketeering. He resigned from office in 2008 after pleading guilty to perjury.

Ferguson, a former contractor for the city, was found guilty of racketeering, extortion and bribery. He could serve up to 20 years in prison.

Read back: Kwame Kilpatrick files appeal to vacate conviction, wants new trial

Lawyers for both Kilpatrick and Ferguson will get 20 minutes to plead their case to the panel.

Local 4 spoke Friday night with Kilpatrick's attorney, Harold Gurewitz.

"He's very pleased with that because we're both anxious to get the court's decision on the appeal," Gurewitz said.

In the appeal Kilpatrick's team cites there were multiple issues with the trial. The main one being a conflict of interest. You may remember Kilpatrick asking Judge Nancy Edmunds to get rid of his long-time defense attorney James Thomas, because at the time Thomas was working for a law firm that was suing Kilpatrick over the same alleged crimes of which Thomas was defending him.

The judge ended up denying Kilpatrick's request.

"The other claim is government agents testified on multiple occasions actually almost two dozen times based upon evidence that was otherwise a part of the record," said Gurewitz.

Legal expert Todd Flood said this all could play out three ways.

"It's reason for the courts to reverse Kilpatrick's conviction and head for a new trial," said Flood.

Following the the appeal hearing, the judges will consider the case.