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Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Walks Into Court Handcuffed, Leaves With New Attorney

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Ex-Detroit Mayor  Kwame Kilpatrick, clad in a tan, khaki prison outfit, entered the federal courtroom in handcuffs and with a smile Thursday morning. He left about 40 minutes later, escorted in handcuffs and with a new court appointed attorney.

Kilpatrick, who was uncuffed during the proceedings, appeared before U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds to ask to fire attorney James Thomas.

Edmunds agreed and appointed veteran attorney Harold Gurewitz, a former federal prosecutor who had assisted part time in Killpatrick’s defense during trial. Kilpatrick complained that Thomas hadn’t assisted him in motions and hadn’t represented him well during trial.

“I like Harold,” Kilpatrick said, standing at the podium, Gurewitz and Thomas by his side.

It was Kilpatrick’s first court appearance since being convicted March 11 of 24 public corruption and tax counts in one of the sadder Detroit tales in recent years involving a high-profile figure. He’s been in prison in Milan ever since, awaiting sentencing, just like his co-defendant Bobby Ferguson.

His father Bernard Kilpatrick, who was convicted of tax counts in the trial, sat in the gallery. He is the only one of three defendants free pending sentencing.

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