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Appeals court refuses to reinstate suit against Kilpatrick

April 25, 2013 at 4:16 PM

CINCINNATI, April 25 (UPI) -- The family of a woman killed in a drive-by shooting in Detroit lost a bid Thursday to reinstate a lawsuit against former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

A federal appeals court ruled a judge acted correctly when he dismissed the suit brought by the family of Tamara Greene, the Detroit Free Press reported. Greene, an exotic dancer who performed under the name Strawberry, was 27 when she died in 2003.

The family, seeking $150 million in damages, said that Greene performed at a "wild party" at Kilpatrick's official residence, Manoogian Mansion, a few months before her death and that the former mayor hindered the police investigation into the killing. U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen dismissed the lawsuit in 2011, saying lawyer Norman Yatooma had presented no proof the party occurred or that Kilpatrick had interfered with the homicide investigation.

The three-judge panel in Cincinnati said that even if some Kilpatrick policies hindered the investigation Yatooma had not shown that was their intent or that police under other circumstances might have solved the case, The Detroit News reported. Greene's killer remains unknown.

"Yatooma tried to make something that wasn't there," Michael Naughton, Kilpatrick's lawyer, told The News. "Plaintiffs were not able to present facts that substantiated their claims that Kwame in any way interfered with the investigation."

Kilpatrick is awaiting sentencing after being convicted on federal corruption charges.

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