Kilpatrick corruption trial defendants face 33 counts
9:50 PM, Mar 6, 2013
9:57 AM, Mar 7, 2013
(WXYZ) - The jurors in the Kilpatrick corruption case ended their 12 th day of deliberations a little early Wednesday – but still there is no word of a verdict.
The jury in the Kilpatrick Corruption Case has been examining 33 different charges against three different men.
The biggest and most complicated charge of all: Count 1 – racketeering conspiracy – known as RICO. The jury has to decide if Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick and his friend Bobby Ferguson were part of a corrupt enterprise – an enterprise the feds have dubbed "Kilpatrick Incorporated."
All 3 are charged with RICO.
The jury needs to believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the Kilpatrick enterprise existed, that the defendants were associated with the enterprise and knowingly agreed to participate in the conduct of "Kilpatrick Inc.," and that the activities of the enterprise affected interstate commerce.
"You have to show some cohesiveness apart from the particular illegal acts. That's where the evidence, for example, or the late night meetings with the former mayor, Bobby Ferguson, Bernard Kilpatrick, and Derrick Miller – that's a way to say look, here's your organization, this is what they did," said former federal prosecutor Peter Henning. Henning says the evidence must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant charged with RICO and at least one other conspirator agreed that they would commit at least two acts of racketeering.
In this case those acts include allegations of everything from bid rigging for water department contracts so Ferguson could cash in.. to Kilpatrick misspending money from his non-profit Civic Fund.. to bribe and extortion claims from people like Emma Bell and Karl Kado.
"That's a lot of different moving parts so I expect that that will be the count that takes the jury the most time," Henning told 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.
Outside of the RICO charge, the former mayor and Ferguson are facing 8 extortion counts, and 2 bribery charges.
Bernard Kilpatrick is charged with 1 attempted extortion count related to the infamous Synagro sludge-hauling contract.
The jury must also decide whether Kwame Kilpatrick committed wire and mail fraud for 13 different counts related to checks and solicitation letters for the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.
And don't forget about the tax charges – the jury must also render a verdict on 6 different tax counts for Kwame Kilpatrick.. and 2 tax charges for Bernard Kilpatrick.
If they're convicted of the RICO or extortion crimes – the former mayor and two of the people closest to him could face up to 20 years behind bars.
7 Action News is standing by here at the federal courthouse every day during deliberations so we can bring you news of the verdict – as soon as the jury is ready to announce a decision. Stay with wxyz.com.