DETROIT (WWJ) – All the testimony and evidence has been presented and both sides have wrapped up their case in the Kwame Kilpatrick city hall corruption trial.
After 68 days of testimony over five months, the case against Detroit’s former mayor, his father and city contractor Bobby Ferguson will be in the hands of the jury, following closing arguments on Monday.
“It’s over, the testimony’s in — I keep telling you all that the case has always been in the cross-examination, and whether or not these witnesses have held up to cross-examination,” said Ferguson defense attorney Mike Rataj. “And the jury’s going to be the ultimate arbiter of that situation, of the facts. And, so, that’s what it is. That’s why we play the game.”
Rataj talked about why the defendants were not called to testify.
“You know, you’re not gonna put on a witness to counter every witness the government put in … that’s not the way it works,” said Rataj. “Whether or not we created the reasonable doubt necessary to find our clients, you know, not guilty, is only left to the 12 people who are deciding this case, and nobody else.”
The final witness to take the stand Wednesday was Ferguson’s insurance agent who testified the contractor paid over $4 million for insurance and bonding from 2002 to 2008.
Kwame Kilpatrick, Bernard Kilpatrick and Ferguson each faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on racketeering, bribery and tax charges.
What does Rataj’s gut tell him about the outcome?
“What do you expect me to say? OK, of course I think we’re gonna win — otherwise, why would I get up in the morning and do this? OK, I mean, if you’re gonna compete, you’re gonna compete to the very end,” he said.
Kwame Kilpatrick resigned from office in 2008 and pleaded guilty to obstructing justice by lying in a civil case about having sex with an aide. He served 14 months in prison for violating his probation in that case.
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