Bernard Kilpatrick sentenced to 15 months in prison

(WXYZ) - It's less time than federal prosecutors wanted for the former mayor's father, but the judge still came down hard on Bernard Kilpatrick – telling him she believed he was part of the racketeering conspiracy – even though he wasn't convicted of that.

Judge Nancy Edmunds told Bernard Kilpatrick – she believes a prison sentence is important to show the community that a culture of corruption won't be tolerated any longer.

Now Kilpatrick will spend 15 months in federal prison plus one year of supervised release.

In March, a jury convicted Kilpatrick on a single tax crime in the massive city hall corruption case.

The jury was hung on whether the 72-year-old was part of a racketeering conspiracy with his son, former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson.

"I think that whenever you go trial in a case of this magnitude and you don't convicted of the more serious felonies by any account whether you believe he did it or didn't do it he's fortunate," said Kilpatrick's lawyer, John Shea.

The judge said a preponderance of the evidence showed that Bernard Kilpatrick was involved with many acts of extortion – and told him he was fortunate to have escaped conviction on the RICO charge and the other tax charges.

Shea disagrees.

"I understand that there are always going to be competing points of view on that --she's entitled to her opinion," said Shea.

Bernard Kilpatrick did address the judge, telling her that he's brought misery to his family and friends.

Kilpatrick said "I messed up, no question about it.  It was my responsibility – not really anyone else's – to file proper tax returns… I have nothing but deep regrets."

Meanwhile, outside of court, Shea told us his client has been trying to help raise his grandsons near Dallas while Kwame Kilpatrick has been locked up.  And now Bernard Kilpatrick can request to report to a federal prison in Texas to stay close to his family.

"In these circumstances  family units try to chip in and that's what he's been doing," said Shea.

The judge also ordered him to pay more than $62,000 in restitution to the IRS.

Bernard Kilpatrick does not have to report for his sentence until after the first of the year.

Print this article Back to Top