When it was announced on Monday that former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (pictured) had been convicted on 24 counts of racketeering, fraud, and extortion, the New York Times failed to mention that it could have been worse — if enough hard evidence had been found to pursue the former mayor's alleged ties to a murder.
Also convicted were Kwame Kilpatrick's father Bernard and his friend Bobby Ferguson, a general contractor.
The trial began last September and after months of hearing testimonies and reading emails, the jury then took 14 days to conclude its deliberations. Because the judge determined that Kwame and Ferguson were flight risks, they were incarcerated immediately, awaiting sentencing.
The Times was hard-pressed to condense the reams of evidence (that Wikipedia was barely able to squeeze into 30 pages) presented in the case into a coherent summary:
The verdicts brought to a close a trial in which prosecutors laid out a complex case against Mr. Kilpatrick and his co-defendants — including his father, Bernard, and Mr. Ferguson — arguing that they had used the mayor’s office to enrich themselves for years through shakedowns, kickbacks and bid-rigging schemes.
Mr. Ferguson, the ex-mayor’s friend and construction contractor, was found guilty of 9 of 11 counts, including racketeering. Mr. Kilpatrick’s father, who faced four charges, was found guilty of filing a false tax return.
The criminal indictment was 45 pages long. And yet it included nothing about Kilpatrick’s alleged ties to the murder of an exotic dancer who attended a private party at Manoogian Mansion, Detroit’s mayoral residence, over the Labor Day weekend in 2002, soon after Kilpatrick took office. The wild party, also attended by Kilpatrick, included strippers who were provided for the entertainment of his guests. One of them, a stripper called Strawberry (27-year-old Tamara Greene), was attacked and severely injured by Kilpatrick’s wife when she found Greene fondling her husband at the party.
When an investigation into the party was undertaken, Greene was a person of interest. On April 30, 2003, at about 3:40 a.m., a white Chevrolet Suburban pulled up next to a car in which Greene was sitting. Two gunmen in the Suburban emptied 18 rounds into Greene.
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Photo of Kwame Kilpatrick: AP Images