Sleeping juror dismissed from Kilpatrick case

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds

A female juror was bounced from the Kilpatrick case Tuesday, one day after falling asleep during testimony.

The white juror, a steelworker who knew little about the case before being seated, fell asleep three days in a row.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds met privately with lawyers involved in the case this morning before announcing the juror’s dismissal.

“She had some issues that made it difficult for her to be fully attentive to the matters here in court and we agreed it would be best that she be excused,” Edmunds told the other jurors.

The juror was replaced by a male juror, one of six alternates. The replacement juror is a white, 60-something former Marine and retired auto technician.

During voir dire, Bobby Ferguson’s defense attorney Michael Rataj created a stir when he pointed to his own Marine Corps pin and told the juror that they “had a bond” because both had served in the Marines.

The jury now includes eight women and four men.

The panel includes eight African-Americans — five as jurors and three as alternates. The panelists, who were granted anonymity by the judge, include a social worker, a college student and a juror who helps companies find qualified minority bidders.

Robert Snell
Robert Snell is the Detroit News federal courts reporter. He can be reached at or (313) 222-2028.