DETROIT (WXYZ) - Jury selection continued slowly today in the criminal case against Kwame Kilpatrick.
Lawyers for the defense and government agreed on clearing 18 potential jurors into the next round of selections so far. They need to find 66 before they can whittle the list down to only 12, plus six alternates.
It was learned today that the government is using the services of high-profile trial consultant Richard Gabriel used to gauge the risk and reward of potential jurors as they're interviewed. Gabriel has served as a consultant for notable trials like the OJ Simpson case and the Casey Anthony trial. It's not immediately clear how much he is being compensated.
When one possible juror, a middle-aged white male, said he had strong feelings about Kwame Kilpatrick that he could not ignore if he were selected, a lawyer for the government asked that he be dismissed from the case. The judge agreed.
"Finally, honesty," exclaimed Kwame Kilpatrick, raising his hands and smiling.
A middle-aged African American man was removed as a potential juror after it was learned he would be traveling for much of the trial. Defense lawyers didn't want him on the case anyway, though, after he compared Kilpatrick to a thug, thief and gangster. On a jury questionnaire, he wrote that the defendants "are bad people."
Two of the almost two-hundred witnesses the government may call were revealed in court today. Adolph Mongo, a well-known political consultant, and Bob Berg, who Kilpatrick and his mother have relied upon for media consulting, both appeared on a government witness list that was discussed in open court.
Judge Nancy Edmunds announced yesterday that she would like as many as five jurors interviewed per hour, but questions from as many as four lawyers for the prosecution has made that goal almost unattainable.
So far, an average of two or three jurors have been questioned each hour.