DETROIT (WXYZ) - After five months and more than 100 witnesses – both sides in the Kilpatrick corruption trial have officially rested their cases.
After Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson all stood up and told the judge they were choosing not to testify – both sides in the Kilpatrick Corruption trial officially rested their cases.
Five months ago – the jurors started undergoing the extensive jury selection process--and now they are within days of starting deliberations.
Defense lawyers in the Kilpatrick corruption trial called only 11 witnesses – compared to about 100 witnesses federal prosecutors put on the stand.
Bernard Kilpatrick’s lawyer called no one at all – but refused to tell us if that’s because he’s thinks the feds did not meet their burden of proof against his client.
“I’ve got no comment on how the case closed –we’ll have plenty of comment next week,” said John Shea.
Trying to fight prosecutors’ allegations that Bobby Ferguson was a corrupt contractor - Ferguson lead attorney Gerald Evelyn questioned his final two witnesses on Wednesday. The first was a representative from MichiganCAT. That’s the company where Ferguson purchased more than $2.2 Million worth of equipment. Robert Schneider II vouched for Ferguson’s business skills – telling the jury a lot of the equipment he purchased gave him a competitive advantage for getting jobs.
Up next, Ferguson’s insurance agent who testified that he never received a single complaint against Ferguson – a feat he referred to as “special.”
As they have done for many of the defense witnesses, federal prosecutors chose not to ask them any questions today – and did not call any rebuttal witnesses.
“The government may be willing to live with what the witnesses say. That’s fine – that doesn’t really undermine our case,” said former federal prosecutor Peter Henning.
At 10:37 AM the defense rested. But it’s not over yet.
“Just getting ready for closing arguments and the case ain’t over, and we can’t rest, we’re confident, and just keep fighting… that’s all we can do at this point. Got to keep fighting,” said Ferguson defense lawyer Mike Rataj.
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