In a dramatic scene, a federal judge Monday afternoon ordered Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson off to jail pending their sentencing on public corruption charges.
After the ruling deputy U.S. Marshals approached the men, who both took off their suit jackets. They were then put in handcuffs. Kilpatrick popped something in his mouth, but it was unclear what it was.
U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds said it was a close call, but sided with the prosecutors who had argued that both Kilpatrick Ferguson be put behind bars pending sentencing. They argued that they were both potential flight risks and liars and cheats who had access to big money and violated court orders after their convictions in state court. Kilpatrick was convicted of lying during a deposition and in trial in state court. Ferguson was convicted in 2005 of pistol whipping an employee.
She noted Kilpatrick showed up to court and complied with all the pretrial conditions in federal court. But she said he had an incentive to show up to trial because he kept insisting he was innocent. She said that incentive to comply was no longer. She also said that Ferguson was someone who used intimidation.
Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick's attorney, and Gerald Evelyn, Ferguson's attorney, argued that they should remain free pending sentencing.
Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 of 30 public corruption counts Monday morning. Ferguson was convicted of 9 of 11 counts.
Kilpatrick's father, Bernard Killpatrick, was convicted of one tax charge and remained free on bond.
In other high profile public corruption trials, convicted public officials were aloud to remain free and report to prison on their own. Ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who got 14 years, and Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of New Orleans, who stuffed $90,000 in marked bills in his freezer and got 13 years, both remained free after their convictions and reported to prison on their own.
But in this instance, the judge seemed to take into account that Kilpatrick repeatedly violated parole in state court and lied to the court. Ferguson was caught with weapons after his felony conviciton, whcih was a violation of the law.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, at an afternoon press conference, said "it is more rare in white collar cases" than others in federal court to be detained immediately after conviction.
WXYZ reported Ferguson and Kilpatrick were taken to MIlan federal prison.
McQuade said that the government planned to retry Bobby Ferguson on a bid-rigging case. The jury deadlocked in that case. There were also two other defenfants who walked as a result of a hung jury.
McQuade said that she wanted to retry the other defendants and it wouldn't cost extra to include Ferguson in that bid-rigging case.