Jury must decide if Kilpatrick bribed, extorted millionaire Jon Rutherford

Published On: Oct 19 2012 05:16:09 PM EDT   Updated On: Oct 19 2012 06:26:50 PM EDT

Text messages from Kwame Kilpatrick's sister were the focus in court on Friday.


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.


The views expressed below are not those of Click On Detroit, WDIV, or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus