Closing arguments set to begin Monday in Kilpatrick corruption case
11:41 AM, Feb 10, 2013
8:31 AM, Feb 11, 2013
(WXYZ) - Could five months of testimony all come down to the next few days?
Closing arguments are set to begin Monday in the Kilpatrick corruption trial.
Five months of testimony, wiretaps, text messages and mountains of documents. The jurors in the Kilpatrick corruption case are about to decide whether or not to send Detroit's former mayor to prison for decades.
Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, and his friend Bobby Ferguson are accused of running a criminal enterprise out of city hall.
The jury has heard from colorful characters – successful city contractors – and former Kilpatrick administration insiders.
Now, it's up to the lawyers to make their final arguments to the jury – to either convict or acquit.
"We believe that we're going to win, and we're confident that we've done our job, and that there's reasonable doubt," said Ferguson defense attorney Mike Rataj.
Federal prosecutors and defense lawyers have inundated the jury with hundreds of documents – including water department contracts, text message transcripts, even pages from Kilpatrick's official mayoral calendar.
Now, Assistant U. S. Attorney Michael Bullotta will have to tie together all of the evidence in his closing arguments.
"So it's really the chance for the government to put all the pieces together, and say to the jury – here's what you can find," said former federal prosecutor Peter Henning. He says expect the government's presentation to be lengthy and very well-choreographed.
"Some of the checks, some of the text messages especially you can put up there and say you can read this for yourself, you can't cross examine a text message, you can't say that a text message lies," said Henning.
Henning also predicts the defense will really push their trial theme-- that the things the jury has heard may be unseemly or unethical, but they were not necessarily illegal.
"There's a lot of evidence here, but it's open to interpretation. And if it's subject to conflicting views then that raises the potential for reasonable doubt," said Henning.
Jury instructions and closing arguments start Monday morning. The 7 Action News Investigators will bring you all of the latest developments from federal court.
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