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Venue change possible for Detroit mayor

March 26, 2008 at 4:24 PM   |   Comments

DETROIT, March 26 (UPI) -- Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's lawyer is considering requesting a change in venue for his client's corruption trial.

Dan Webb told The Detroit News the pre-trial publicity generated by Kilpatrick's indictment on multiple charges is a concern as is the ability of the Wayne County court system to attract enough African-Americans to serve on juries.

The News said a study of 2004-2005 trial data indicated that while Detroit is 80 percent black, Wayne County as a whole is 60 percent white, and whites make up about 70 percent of the juries.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy told the newspaper she was confident an impartial jury could be seated, but would oppose any stipulation that the jury be made up exclusively of Detroit residents.

The Detroit Free Press reported Wednesday that newly-revealed text messages sent by Kilpatrick in 2003 appeared to indicate that he planned to fire a deputy police chief who was leading an internal affairs investigation into the activities of the mayor's police security detachment.

Deputy Chief Gary Brown's removal led to a whistleblower lawsuit that the city eventually settled, but which provided the basis for the perjury counts and other charges filed against Kilpatrick this week.

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