Defense: Judge allowing hear-say from witness in Kwame Kilpatrick trial

Defense says judge is not being fair when allowing witnesses to testify hear-say in trial against former Detroit mayor


A damaging new witness took the stand Wednesday in the trial against former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

Bernard Parker III had a lot to say and none of it was good for defendants Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson. Parker makes new allegations of extortion, threats, payoffs and cover ups within the Kilpatrick administration. His testimony had Kilpatrick, Ferguson and their team of attorneys visibly upset in court.

Read more: Kilpatrick witness makes extortion claims

"Well, we're all frustrated because this isn't the way that it's supposed to work, OK," said defense attorney Mike Rataj. "The person that makes the statement has got to come in and testify to it so they can be cross examined. That's the bottom line."

Parker is the son of Wayne County Commissioner Bernard Parker. As a consultant, Parker III tried to secure contracts for millionaires such as John Rikolta and Tony Suave, only to find out Ferguson had to get millions of dollars in work first.

When Parker III went to Kilpatrick about the threats, the mayor allegedly said, "You need to talk to Bobby Ferguson."

Ferguson's attorney called out Judge Nancy Edmunds, saying she is out of line by helping prosecutors pose questions and allowing witnesses to testify about what other people said. The legal term is hear-say.

"For her to prop the government lawyers up every time, they can't ask a question properly. The hear-say, the double and triple hear-say, puts us at a disadvantage in this case," said Rataj.

Regardless, the jury still heard Parker's vivid stories of collecting payoffs from businessman Tom Hardiman and getting cussed out by Ferguson who was worried the media would get a hold of a written letter indicating Ferguson was getting work because of his relationship with a high-ranking Detroit official.

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