DETROIT (WWJ) - Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is back in federal court Wednesday in an attempt to set the stage for his possible release from prison this summer.
Kilpatrick, who remains in federal prison in Milan, will appear before U.S. District Court Judge Virginia Morgan seeking transfer back into state custody, where he is eligible for parole on perjury charges as early as July.
WWJ and FOX 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton explained the process.
“There’s a process by which he’s now going to ask a judge to release him from federal custody and put him into state custody for the sole purpose of being considered for parole,” Langton said. “Technically, Kwame Kilpatrick is eligible for parole on July 25th of this year. But to be considered for parole, he has to be in the state system. It’s actually a pretty ingenious move.”
Kilpatrick’s attorney James Thomas said Wednesday’s request before a federal judge in Detroit should be fairly routine.
Langton said he believes Kilpatrick will be successful and regain his freedom this summer, if only temporarily. That’s because the former Mayor still faces pending federal corruption charges.
If Kilpatrick is released to the state, it could still be years before he formally faces federal corruption charges.
“I think when people find out that Kwame Kilpatrick will be out of prison on July 25th of this year, I think they’re going to be shocked. Especially because of all these charges pending in the federal courts. But you have to remember, he will have a trial,” Langton said.
In the meantime, his original state sentence of a minimum of 18-months served in connection with the text message scandal comes due in July.
WWJ has a reporter in the courtroom. Stay tuned for the latest.