Defense rests in Kilpatrick trial

Feb. 6, 2013 at 2:02 PM
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DETROIT, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Lawyers for former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his co-defendants rested their case Wednesday after four days of defense testimony.

Neither Kilpatrick nor the other defendants testified, The Detroit News reported. Most of the trial, which began in September, was taken up by 80 prosecution witnesses, many of them cross-examined at length by the defense.

"I am choosing not to," Kilpatrick replied when U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds asked him about testifying.

Kilpatrick, his father, Bernard, and Bobby Ferguson, an old friend of the mayor who became a city contractor, are charged with bribery, kickbacks and corruption. Victor Mercado, the former head of the city water department, pleaded guilty in November to conspiring with Kilpatrick.

Bernard Kilpatrick said outside of court that he feels confident in the outcome.

"A whole lot better than I did on Day 1," he told reporters who asked how he felt about the approaching end of the trial. "I'm glad it's here to tell you the truth."

Lawyers are scheduled to begin closing arguments Monday. The defendants face up to 20 years in prison if they are convicted.

Kilpatrick has already served a short jail sentence for perjury and a longer one in a Michigan prison for violating his probation.

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