67th day of Kwame Kilpatrick trial ends minutes after starting; no witnesses available to testify

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Minutes after court started Tuesday in the Kwame Kilpatrick corruption case, it ended.

Medical and scheduling concerns cut short the Kilpatrick corruption trial--cutting short the 67 th day of the trial.

After 40 minutes of discussions in chambers with both the prosecution and the defense – Judge Nancy Edmunds announced to the jury in the Kilpatrick corruption trial that there would be no testimony.

"One of our witnesses was going to be coming back for re-direct, and he's ill. So we'll have to gage and figure out what's going on with that," said Kwame Kilpatrick's lawyer, Jim Thomas.

Defense witness CPA Gary Leeman had been expected to resume his testimony about Kilpatrick's finances and the Kilpatrick Civic Fund.

"There are other witnesses that have been asked to come in from out of town, and it's been a logistical issue. We don't have the staff to make sure everything is coordinated as it should," said Thomas.

Thomas says there's nothing unusual about all of the courtroom delays that have been taking place as both sides near the end of the historic five month trial.

"We have a lot of end of trial issues. Jury instructions are massive in this case, we've been working on them, we're going to back and do that now, so it's not like time's being wasted here," said Thomas.

In fact, within an hour of court ending early – a team of Assistant U. S. Attorneys made their way to Thomas' office where the two sides will try to hammer out their differences for the crucial jury instructions.

Both sides are disagreeing on which set of instructions to use – and they've each filed different versions with the court of the 75 page packets that the judge will read to the jury before deliberations.

"We fight for our instructions and they fight for their instructions, and then the judge has to make the ultimate decision on that, but they are important," said Bobby Ferguson's lawyer, Mike Rataj.

With just days to go until the jury decides the fate of the former mayor, Ferguson, and Bernard Kilpatrick -- Rataj says he's as confident as ever in a victory.

"We believe that we're going to win, and we're confident that we've done our job, and that there's reasonable doubt, and that the government hasn't proven it's case, and that's the bottom line," said Rataj.

Despite the delay – the judge told the jury they are still on track to wrap up testimony on Wednesday.

On Friday, the lawyers will make some procedural arguments before the judge.

Then on Monday, the judge will read the jury instructions, followed by closing arguments. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Bullotta will go first, followed by the defense. Closings could last through Wednesday.

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