Kilpatrick corruption trial delayed another week as lawyer recuperates

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Kilpatrick Corruption trial will be delayed for at least another full week, while Bobby Ferguson's lead attorney continues his recovery.

Gerald Evelyn is recovering, but slowly, according to the judge.  Judge Nancy Edmunds says she spoke to his doctor, and that doctor wants Evelyn to have more time to rest before returning to the trial.

The veteran defense attorney is home from the hospital.

Evelyn alarmed his fellow lawyers and court staff on Monday when he suddenly asked for a rare break during his cross examination of a city contractor who had testified that Bobby Ferguson extorted him.

Evelyn had to be taken by ambulance to Detroit Receiving Hospital, and his friends say he's likely suffering from exhaustion.

"Two cases back to back like this – it would tax anybody," said attorney Mike Rataj.   Rataj says his co-counsel needs rest – especially considering that Evelyn has done back-to-back massive federal trials on behalf of Ferguson.  Evelyn was tied up with his long-time client's Gardenview Estates bid-rigging case from May until July, and then turned right around to deal with thousands of discovery documents and hundreds of witnesses in the racketeering case.

"We expect Gerald to make a full recovery.  He's a warrior.  I know that he wants to get back in action as quickly as possible, at the same time he understands he needs to take care of himself right now," said Rataj.

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, former city contractor Ferguson, and ex-water department director Victor Mercado are all on trial, accused of running a criminal enterprise out of city hall.

"I can't say enough good things about judge Edmunds right now, we just appreciate everything that she's doing for Gerald, and the understanding that she's showing," said Rataj. 

During a meeting with the lawyers in the case Friday, Judge Edmunds said after talking to Evelyn's doctor, she decided to delay the trial until Tuesday November 13 th.

"Are you concerned at all about such a long break for the jurors," asked 7 Action News Investigator Heather Catallo.

"No, I'm sure the jurors probably appreciate the break," said Rataj.

 Judge Edmunds also said "We're all still praying and hoping for a full recovery."

"Right now we're just worried about our captain, and that he gets himself back ready to go into the fight, and continue this trial and finish it up," said Rataj.

The judge says she plans to talk to Evelyn's doctor again this weekend – and if he's better, they could start up at the end of next week. But most likely they will wait till after Veteran's Day.

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