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Judge says Detroit mayor to stand trial

Rules on evidence for assault charges

By Ed White
Associated Press / August 16, 2008
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DETROIT - A judge ruled yesterday that there's enough evidence for Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to stand trial on two felony assault charges stemming from a confrontation with two investigators.

The investigators testified that an angry Kilpatrick shoved one of them into the other and made racial remarks while they were trying to deliver a subpoena in the mayor's perjury case to one of Kilpatrick's friends last month.

District Judge Ronald Giles said there was no question Kilpatrick knew Wayne County sheriff's Detective Brian White and county prosecutor's investigator JoAnn Kinney were at the home where the confrontation took place on official business.

"It's clear Kilpatrick knew who Detective White was. He had previous contact with him through his other case. He specifically called him by name in this case," said Giles, who ordered Kilpatrick jailed for a night last week for violating bond in his perjury case.

White testified that the mayor shoved him into Kinney when he was trying to deliver the subpoena. He and Kinney also testified that Kilpatrick used profanity and made a racial remark during the confrontation.

"You're a black woman," Kinney said the mayor told her. "You should be ashamed of yourself being with a man with the last name White. You should not be a part of this."

The mayor and Kinney are black. White is white.

Kilpatrick's attorneys have denied an assault took place.

During the hearing, they played a taped conversation between White and a police dispatcher recorded just after the alleged assault in which White asks the dispatcher to "change the header to assault on a police officer - and fondling."

Asked to explain the remark, White told the court: "This was very stressful to me personally. I was under a lot of stress. My way of alleviating stress is to make light of things."

Defense attorney Jim Thomas said after the hearing that he would peck away at inconsistencies between the testimony of White and Kinney when the case goes to trial. He called the investigators' visit to the house a setup.

Kilpatrick remains free on bond ahead of arraignment next week in Wayne County Circuit Court.

He must continue to wear an electronic ankle tether.

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