Detroit businessman testifies as Kilpatrick trial starts back up

Federal trial against ex-Detroit mayor, 3 others starts back up since defense attorney's illness


Attorney Gerald Evelyn is back and feeling better after a medial scare two weeks ago took him from the courthouse to the hospital.

"Some tightness in my chest. I started getting double vision and then I had some really, really pronounced nausea. Between the podium and the defense council's table I sweat through all my clothes," Evelyn said.

He was diagnosed with a heart condition but has been cleared to continue. That means the federal trial against former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and three other defendants is back on.

Kilpatrick trial: Witness avoids saying he trusted Ferguson

It was Evelyn who lead Tuesday's cross examination. He got Detroit businessman Tom Hardiman to admit defendant Bobby Ferguson never directly threatened him. Hardiman also told the court he and Ferguson were close and talked frequently. It was inconsistent with someone who is being extorted.

"You would expect fear. You would expect the guy not to want to call him. Mr. Hardiman said I called him when I needed him to come and help with taking care of water mains," said legal expert Todd Flood.

In true Kilpatrick fashion, the former mayor was making news before he even arrived at court by tweeting "Back in Detroit! Strapping on my boots. Time to go back to work on my freedom. Plus, I need the boots for all the bull excrement :-)."

For the record, he wore shoes on Monday, not boots.

As for defendant Victor Mercado, the former Detroit water boss who pleaded guilty during the break, the judge told jurors "Mr. Mercado is no longer part of this trial. I instruct you that you are not to speculate as to the reasons for the absence of Mr. Mercado.

That leaves three left facing racketeering charges -- Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson.

Copyright 2012 by All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.