DETROIT (WWJ) – Kwame Kilpatrick is headed back to state prison, after a federal judge granted his request for a transfer.
A number of bond conditions were placed on the former Detroit mayor, due to his federal indictment on corruption charges. However, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds agreed to transfer Kilpatrick back into state custody so in Jackson where he is expected to soon begin the parole process after violating his probation for perjury-related charges in the 2008 text-messaging scandal.
Judge Edmunds set an unsecured $100,000 bond for Kilpatrick in the event that he is paroled.
WWJ and FOX 2 Legal Analyst Charlie Langton explained the process.
“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,” Langton said.
As a condition of his bond, Kilpatrick’s travel will be limited to the continental U.S. upon his release.
Kilpatrick’s attorney, James Thomas, said that if his client is paroled this summer, he will return to Texas to be with this family.
“I’ve seen them up here visiting with him… It’s not an ideal situation, you know, to have your sons coming and watching you while you’re in prison. But he’s weathered that storm, and hopefully it will be over,” Thomas said.
Langton said he believes Kilpatrick will regain his freedom this summer, but only temporarily. That’s because the former Mayor still faces pending federal corruption charges.
Kilpatrick’s uncle and former staff-member, Raymond Cheeks, expressed joy about his nephew’s expected release.
“He’s a good guy, excellent guy. His heart is in the right place,” Cheeks said.
“If he’s done anything wrong, and that’s still to be proven — if he’s done anything wrong he’s repented for it. So, he should not only be definitely paroled, he should be let out today,” Cheeks said.
If Kilpatrick is released to the state, it could still be years before he formally faces federal corruption charges. Kilpatrick, his father and others, face a sweeping 38-count indictment that accuses them of taking kickbacks and bribes in exchange for city contracts.
A pretrial conference in that case is for April 13th.
“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.
As Kilpatrick was led from courtroom in handcuffs, he seemed in good spirits, joking with TV reporters about the favorite newscast among inmates at Milan. Kilpatrick also joked about Langton, who was in the courtroom, Wednesday, saying “that’s the funniest guy on TV.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.