DETROIT (WXYZ) - At a hearing today on the federal corruption case of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and three others, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds laid out ground rules on how she wants the trial to go.
Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, friend Bobby Ferguson and former city water chief Victor Mercado were not in court this afternoon. The four men have been indicted for running a criminal enterprise out of city hall and other charges.
Next week, the trial officially begins with the judge, defense lawyers and prosecutors questioning potential jurors. When they whittle down the jury pool to 66 people, the defense will be allowed to reject 28 jurors without having to give a reason. Prosecutors will do the same, but can only reject 14 potential jurors.
Hours before a juror is questioned, they will be given a copy of the governments’ witness list to see if there may be someone they know.
If they do know one of the witnesses, that would eliminate them from serving on the case.
The judge also said that once the jury is selected, the court will break for the day and opening statements will be heard the follow day.
The prosecution revealed plans to use some evidence it has collected including some text messages and portions of wire tap recordings, in their opening statement. Defense attorneys objected saying it should not be allowed since it will not have been admitted as evidence that early in the case. Edmunds said she would review what the prosecution plans to present and decide if they will be allowed to use it at that time.
Edmunds does not plan to limit the length of opening statements.
We will have complete coverage of the trial which begins Sept. 6.
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