Kwame Kilpatrick's attorney files request for new trial

Filing says court didn't handle 'conflict of interest' issue with previous attorney correctly

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DETROIT - Kwame Kilpatrick's newest attorney has filed a request for a new trial.

In March, Kilpatrick was found guilty of 24 charges, including racketeering and extortion. He's imprisoned while awaiting sentencing.

A date hasn't yet been set for it. He could get 20 years in prison for the racketeering convictions alone.

In May, Kilpatrick's prior counsel, James Thomas, withdrew from the case and handed it off to Harold Gurewitz.

Gurewitz filed Kilpatrick's request for a new trial on June 28, saying Kilpatrick was denied his right to a "choice of conflict-free counsel."

READ: Kilpatrick's request for new trial

The the conflict of interest issue between Kilparick and Thomas came up last August, when Kilpatrick said Thomas had previously represented Gasper Fiore -- a witness in the case against Kilpatrick.

But at the time, Judge Nancy Edmunds ruled that Kilpatrick should have seen Fiore's name on the witness list months prior -- and should not have signed a waiver acknowledging he had reviewed the witness list and was OK with it.

"It is believed that this Court did not seek a waiver of conflict from Mr. Kilpatrick. It did not further inquire about Mr. Kilpatrick's complaints that what he believed to be his trial counsel's
conflict, and the manner by which he belatedly learned of the full scope of it, had caused a substantial breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. It is, therefore, Defendant Kilpatrick's
position that the Court's failure to make further inquiry was an abuse of discretion requiring no further showing of prejudice," Gurewitz wrote in the filing.

Thomas had represented Kilpatrick since 2008, particularly through the text message scandal.

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Kilpatrick Federal Trial

From left: Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson and Bernard Kilpatrick in court. March 11, 2013

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