Blog: Jury in Kilpatrick corruption trial has question

Published On: Feb 26 2013 03:35:07 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 26 2013 03:30:07 PM EST
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DETROIT -

Local 4 is inside the courtroom for the federal corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father --Bernard Kilpatrick -- and his childhood friend Bobby Ferguson. We are bringing you information from inside federal court as it happens.

10:20AM Day 6 of jury deliberations in the Kwame Kilpatrick federal corruption trial and we have just learned that the jury has a question. In a few minutes, we will hear the question in Judge Nancy Edmunds's courtroom. So far there has only been one other major question asked by the jury on 1368, a $50 million sewer lining contract between the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD) and Tony Soave's Inland Water Pollution Control.

Bernard Kilpatrick's defense lawyer John Shea is the first of the attorneys to arrive in the courtroom. He is discussing with the court reporters what the question might be about. There appears to be some confusion over exhibit information.

10:28AM US Attorney Michael Bullotta is the second to arrive in the courtroom. More lawyers should be streaming in shortly.

10:30AM Turned the video off. I guess they aren't quite ready yet. 

10:44AM Video turned back on. US Attorney Mark Chutkow is now also in the courtroom with Bullotta. And the video is off again. 

10:53AM Video back on again. I'm getting dizzy. Chutkow and Bullotta are accompanied by US Attorneys Jennifer Blackwell and Eric Doeh at the government's table. No one in the courtroom for the defense at the moment. Still waiting. 

10:57AM All the US Attoneys just got up and walked to the back of the courtroom. Looked for a second that they might be headed to judge's chambers. But now they are seated again. 

Michael Rataj, Bobby Ferguson's lawyer, is here and Shea is back. Gerald Thomas and Kwame Kilpatrick's lawyer Jim Thomas have also arrived. Gangs all here and ready to go. 

10:58AM Judge Edmunds enters the courtroom. 

Judge wants to discuss possible responses. Judge says that the jury is instructed over and over again not to read the newspapers in response to an objection to Jim Thomas. 

Question about the wording in the counts, specifically Count 1 paragraph 7 and Count 7. Are items in Count 1 separate from all other counts asks the jury. Sounds like foreperson is a male. 

Presence of defendants waived for this proceeding. 

11:01AM Jury enters the courtroom. 

The judge says the answer is as follows: both Counts 7 and Count 1 paragraph 7 are based on the same alleged conduct. The same is true for other paragraphs in Count 1 and other counts in the indictment. The difference in wording is that count 7 alleges extortion for which they have instructions. All counts are separate and independent of one another. 

For which you have been given separate and independent instructions.

Count 1, which is the RICO- Racketeering Conspiracy, paragraph 7 and Count 7- an extortion count- paragraph 1, both have to do with DWS 849, the $27.9 million DWSD outfalls contract with Lakeshore Engineering. Both counts discuss extortion of $1.7million. 

Here is the exact wording on the question and answer. 

Jury Question: 

Why are the individual counts within count 1 worded slightly differently than the individual counts?

Example: Count 7 paragraph 1 vs. Count 1 item #7.

They are both re: DWS 849 but one says economic harm created by previous actions but count seven says something different. 

So our core question is: are the items in count 1 completely separate from all other counts? 

This would have been easier to say than write. 

Answer read by judge: 

Both count 7 and count 1, paragraph 7, are based on the same alleged conduct. The same is true for other paragraphs in Count 1 and corresponding counts in the indictment. 

the difference in wording is based on the fact that Count 7 alleges a violation of the federal crime of extortion for which you have been given instructions. 

All the counts are separate and independent of one another. 

For which you have been given separate and independent instructions.

That's it. Judge tells them to go back to the jury room and write any follow up questions. 

Thomas tells judge to remind jury. Judge reminds the jury again to not read or watch any media input or talk to anyone else about what is going on in the case. 

11:05AM Jury leaves and we wait a minute or 2 for any follow up questions. 

Jim Thomas telling some joke about Michael Naughton. Judge Edmunds says that everyone says he looks just like Clark Kent. With the slicked back hair and the black rim glasses, I totally agree. 

Judge mentions that if the weather gets really bad, she will let the jury go early. will keep them as long as they are comfortable staying. 

11:07AM All set, no more jury questions. Quick sidebar. Video off.

That's it. Judge tells them to go back to the jury room and write any follow up questions.

Thomas tells judge to remind jury. Judge reminds the jury again to not read or watch any media input or talk to anyone else about what is going on in the case.

About the author

Alexandra Harland is a Princeton undergrad and has a masters degree in International affairs with Columbia. A Montreal native, she worked with the Daily Telegraph newspaper for a few years before transitioning to TV, when she worked at ABC News with Peter Jennings. Alexandra has also worked in newsrooms in both Detroit and Boston.

Special Coverage: Kilpatrick on Trial

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READ: Kwame Kilpatrick trial: Jury members breakdown, history

Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, and Bobby Ferguson are all facing charges ranging from racketeering to extortion.

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