Kwame Kilpatick has not yet served one full year of his 28-year prison sentence but he's already trying to get out. The disgraced former Detroit mayor is now claiming that he didn't get a fair trial and is asking a federal appeals court to give him a new one, the Detroit Free Press reports. He was convicted in 2013 on 24 counts of charges that included racketeering, extortion and bribery.
According to an 80-page filing, Kilpatrick says his defense attorneys, James Thomas and Michael Naughton, had a conflict of interest because he also was working for a firm that also was suing him for the same alleged crimes and that the $4.7 million in restitution he must pay the city was not authorized under federal law. Thomas reportedly had asked the judge for permission to withdraw from the case but was denied.
"This egregious conflict, of simultaneous representation, caused numerous issues in the criminal trial, which significantly hindered and prejudiced the defense of Mr. Kilpatrick," the former legislator's family said in a statement. "The trial judge, was made aware of this issue on the record, prior to trial. However, without any investigation of these matters, made a rash decision to continue."
Kilpatrick also is arguing that two FBI agents who testified during the six-month-long trial "spoon fed" their interpretation of texts and documents they interpreted as evidence of crookedness instead of allowing jurors to look at them and make their own analysis.
"The testifying agents were allowed to go so far in their interpretations at trial that they testified to one-word text message responses on several occasions during the trial. For example 'Cool,' which the agent testified meant an agreement by Kilpatrick to commit a crime," the family added.
Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.
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