Kilpatrick attorney: Don't believe tainted witnesses

Kwame Kilpatrick's fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse Thursday after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Kwame Kilpatrick’s fundraiser, Emma Bell, leaves federal courthouse earlier in thetrial after an explosive day of testimony. (David Coates / The Detroit News)

Three of the most high-profile witnesses in the case against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick were “bought and paid for” and are not reliable, Kilpatrick’s attorney said this morning.

James C. Thomas told jurors that Emma Bell, the mayor’s former fundraiser, Derrick Miller, his former top aide, and Karl Kado, a Cobo Center contractor, all got in trouble and needed to offer testimony against Kilpatrick.

Bell testified that she had to kick back 50 percent of whatever she raised to Kilpatrick, making cash payments pulled from her bra to him during clandestine meetings.

Derrick Miller

Derrick Miller

But Thomas said she had substantial tax problems and turned on the mayor in hopes of cutting down on prison time. And, he said, she shed a “crocodile tear” on the witness stand, an attempt for sympathy.

He also attacked Miller, who pleaded guilty to tax and bribery charges, and Kado, who admitted paying Kilpatrick and others.

“These are witnesses who got in trouble on their own, totally independent of Kwame Kilpatrick,” he said.

They agreed to help the government, he said, out of the “hope of freedom and the hope they can trade their troubles for Mr. Kilpatrick.”

Mike Wilkinson
Mike has been a reporter at The Detroit News since 2006.