Jury must decide if Kilpatrick bribed, extorted millionaire Jon Rutherford

Rutherford testifies he did give Kwame Kilpatrick thousands of dollars, but it was by his own free will


Bernard Kilpatrick is not happy about Thursday's testimony from millionaire Jon Rutherford.

Rutherford said Bernard did nothing for his $113,000 in consulting fees.

Bernard's attorneys on Friday got Rutherford to testify that he did do work. He helped find out who owned riverfront property, who owned cellphone towers and he helped get the government to increase the speed in which it pays on Rutherford contracts. Why was there no paperwork? Rutherford said he didn't need a memo.

"Basically, he is trying to legitimize the money for which he received," said legal expert Todd Flood.

Kilpatrick trial: Recap of week 4

Text messages were also a focus on Friday, including one from Kwame Kilpatrick's sister which said her non profit was in dire straits and they "need to hit up the Rutherfords of the world." Bernard Kilpatrick replied, "No problem."

Then it was the Kilpatricks' turn. Kwame Kilpatrick's attorney used a simple and direct approach with Rutherford, asking him if he liked Kilpatrick and if the $10,000 he gave him for suits and the $5,000 in cash he gave him while they were in Las Vegas was a demand from Kwame Kilpatrick.

Rutherford said yes, he liked Kilpatrick, and no, the mayor of Detroit never demanded the money. Rutherford said it was given to Kwame Kilpatrick by his own free will.

"'I wanted something for it. But, Kwame never said, 'Hey, listen, you give me this you are a shoo-in. You get it,''" said Flood.

In another text message, Christine Beatty, Kilpatrick's former chief of staff, told Kwame Kilpatrick that they raised more than $1.7 million for the campaign. Kilpatrick forwarded the text to Bobby Ferguson, also on trial, who replied, "Hell, you know we are greedy."

Defense experts say the jury will have to determine if it was extortion and bribery.

"I think the prosecution scores points. I think they scored some pretty heavy body blows against the defense," said Andy Arena, of the Detroit Crime Commission.

-- Kwame Kilpatrick outside Detroit federal court.

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