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Kilpatrick Jurors Question Kwame Kilpatrick Extortion Charge

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(credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

(credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Jurors on Tuesday entered the courtroom for the first time to ask a question during deliberations in the corruption trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

The jury has asked federal Judge Nancy Edmunds to clarify the wording in some of the charges. Separately, the judge told jurors they could go home early Tuesday to avoid a winter storm at rush hour.

WWJ’s Vickie Thomas reported jurors wanted to know about the differences in language used in count one, which is the racketeering conspiracy charge, versus counts in other parts of the indictment.

They specifically referenced count seven, which is a federal extortion charge, Thomas explained. The jury instructions have about 10 pages dedicated to count one, which includes, for example, a Michigan law, also dealing with extortion.

Bernard Kilpatrick’s attorney, John Shea, said he doesn’t read anything into the question as to whether or not jurors are getting close to a verdict.

“There isn’t anything about it one way or the other. Again, they’re being attentive and they’re being careful — that’s all I can really take from it,” Shea said.

It’s the sixth day of deliberations at federal court in Detroit.

Kilpatrick, his father Bernard and city contractor Bobby Ferguson are charged with running a criminal enterprise that relied on kickbacks, bribes and rigged contracts.

Kwame Kilpatrick also is charged with fraud, tax crimes and other offenses. He resigned as mayor in 2008 in a different scandal and served time in state prison for obstruction of justice.

MORE:  Relative: Detroiters Brainwashed To Hate Kwame Kilpatrick, Who Wouldn’t Be On Trial If He Was White

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