DETROIT, July 29 (UPI) -- Convicted Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has asked for a new trial, saying he was forced to use a lawyer in whom he had lost confidence.
Five weeks before he is scheduled to be sentenced on racketeering, extortion, bribery and fraud convictions, Kilpatrick filed court papers Friday seeking a new trial. Harold Gurewitz, his lawyer, argued the court erred in August when it denied Kilpatrick a new lawyer.
The request for a new lawyer came immediately before the trial was about to start in March, with Kilpatrick claiming he had lost confidence in his longtime attorney, James Thomas. It is an argument Kilpatrick used several times before, the Detroit Free Press said Monday.
Kilpatrick's father and co-defendant, Bernard Kilpatrick, also has requested a new trial after conviction on a single count of filing a false tax return. In a court filing Friday his lawyer, John Shea, argued there was insufficient evidence to prove his client was aware his 2005 tax return was false.