Feds drop three counts in Kilpatrick trial as closing arguments loom

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Three counts were dropped today in the corruption trial of Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and close friend.

On Friday, the feds announced that an extortion charge would be dropped against each defendants, and Bernard Kilpatrick would not face a 2007 tax evasion charge.

The vast majority of charges still remain.

"We streamlined our proofs to shorten the trial, necessitating the dismissal of these few counts," said. Gina Balaya, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney.

The elder Kilpatrick's 2007 tax charge, which carried the lightest penalty of up to three years in prison, is a small victory for Kilpatrick, who still faces a count of racketeering and two counts of extortion that carry up to 20 years in prison.

Bernard Kilpatrick also faces up to two other tax charges, but Edmunds said today she is considering whether to drop one of them.

All three defendants still face a series of racketeering, extortion and tax charges, while Ferguson and Kwame Kilpatrick also face bribery charges. 

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