DETROIT (WXYZ) - The wife and father of Detroit's former mayor are trying to avoid some upcoming depositions – and if they do have to give testimony, their lawyer is saying they will plead the 5th so they don't incriminate themselves.
Whether you think it's an urban legend or not -- in 7 ½ years – no one has ever interviewed Carlita Kilpatrick about whether or not she assaulted a stripper who was later murdered.
Action News Investigator Heather Catallo has learned, if Detroit's former first lady does give testimony in this case next week – her lawyer says she'll be pleading the 5th.
The lawyer for Carlita and Bernard Kilpatrick is now asking a federal judge to cancel the scheduled depositions for the former mayor's wife and father in the Tamara Greene lawsuit.
The family of the murdered stripper is suing Kwame Kilpatrick and the City of Detroit – alleging they obstructed the investigation into Greene's 2003 shooting death. It's been rumored that Greene danced at a never-proven Manoogian Mansion party – where Kilpatrick's wife, Carlita, allegedly assaulted Greene.
Several months ago, a federal judge ordered that the depositions of Carlita and the former mayor's father proceed.
But in this motion filed with the court Sunday – Texas-based lawyer Bobbie Edmonds argues that if Carlita and Bernard Kilpatrick have to give testimony… it would subject them to an "undue burden." Why? According to Edmonds -- because they will have to assert their 5th Amendment rights… so they don't have to give testimony that may be incriminating.
"If they want to say in response to our questions regarding an obstruction case, our questions regarding whether Carlita Kilpatrick beat Tamara Greene, whether Kwame Kilpatrick then as a result, covered up the investigation into her murder, if they want to say, because we don't want to be criminally prosecuted, we'd rather not answer at all? God bless ‘em, I'll take those answers. I'm not a criminal prosecutor. I don't need to prove my case beyond a reasonable doubt," says Birmingham attorney Norman Yatooma.
Yatooma calls the motion to cancel the depositions a delay tactic.
Bobbie Edmonds is also arguing that Carlita has "spousal immunity" when it comes to testifying about the former mayor. And because of his current federal tax and fraud case, Edmonds says Carlita should not have to sit for a deposition because "any information given could adversely affect that matter."
"Look, there's no getting around the fact, that Carlita is the central figure here, in this Manoogian Mansion party… We're going to take her deposition; we're going to ask her about assaulting Tamara Greene. We're going to ask her if she feels bad about doing it! If she wants to lie, claim some privilege, plead the Fifth, that's her right. But it's my right to take that deposition, and I intend to," says Yatooma.
Catallo asked Yatooma, "What does that tell you, if she pleads the Fifth?"
"It tells me she concerned about being criminally prosecuted. And maybe well she ought to be," says Yatooma.
Carlita and Bernard Kilpatrick's attorney is also asking that the judge prevent the depositions from being videotaped, and she wants him to award them attorney fees… estimating that at $425 an hour… the Kilpatrick's tab could be north of $2500.
Norman Yatooma fully expects the judge to deny this motion and the depositions to go forward next Thursday.