CBS62logoNEW2013_blue_final_header_White wwj950-sm2011b 971-ticket-35smb 35h_CBSSportsRad_Detroit
LARRY DELISLE BREAKS SILENCE 25 YEARS AFTER DRIVING KIDS INTO THE DETROIT RIVER. DETAILS HERE.

Local

Judge Denies Change Of Venue In Kilpatrick Corruption Case

View Comments
(Credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images, File)

(Credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images, File)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - A federal judge has rejected ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s request that his corruption trial be moved because of the extensive publicity about the case.

Detroit U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds on Thursday turned down defense lawyer James Thomas’s motion for a change of venue for the trial.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard, city contractor Bobby Ferguson, and former Detroit water boss Victor Mercado are accused of rigging contracts, shaking down businessmen and pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Thomas’s filing says media coverage of the case has gone “radioactive” and makes it impossible for Kilpatrick and his co-defendants to get a fair trial.

Prosecutors opposed the request, and Edmunds says the jurors chosen for the case are able to act fairly.

Despite the heavy news coverage, WWJ Legal Analyst and Talk Radio 1270 host Charlie Langton said Judge Edmunds ruled that the juror’s views were not distorted by the media.

“The judge noted that although Kwame Kilpatrick may be very popular, the other defendants are virtually unknown,” Langton said. “And there was really no way to stop the media from covering this case, even if the case had been moved to another city.”

Judge Edmunds said that it has been 50 years since a case had been moved out of a court on similar arguments.

The government claims Kwame Kilpatrick enriched himself for years through bribery and extortion involving contractors that did business with Detroit. He resigned as mayor in 2008 and served time for a parole violation in the unrelated text-messaging case.

A jury was seated on Wednesday. Opening statements are set for Friday.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus