Kwame Kilpatrick says in court filing that he tried to harm his defense lawyer

Criminal Justice


Kwame Kilpatrick says he was so mad at his defense attorney that he moved to physically harm him shortly before jury selection, causing the lawyer to run around a conference table. The 2013 trial ended with the former Detroit mayor being convicted for racketeering, extortion and bribery.

The assertion is part of an appeal Kilpatrick filed regarding his 28-year prison sentence, the Detroit Free Press reports.The two men had a breakdown of trust, according to Kilpatrick, which is one reason he argues that his sentence should be vacated.

James Thomas, who represented Kilpatrick, denied that the chase took place.

“He never chased me around a table,” Thomas told the Detroit News. “I have never been chased around a table in my life.”

Kilpatrick’s July 13 motion (PDF) to vacate his sentence also argues that the court provided incorrect jury instructions regarding the definition of an “official act,” allowed in hearsay evidence against him and incorrectly gave him a more than 20-level sentence enhancement. Kilpatrick, an attorney whose law license was revoked in 2009, the Associated Press reported, filed the sentencing motion pro se. He’s currently held at the federal corrections institute in El Reno, Oklahoma.

Thomas was appointed to represent Kilpatrick after the former mayor ran out of money, according to the Free Press. Prior appeals of the conviction and sentence have failed, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Kilpatrick’s appeal last year. The July 13 motion was filed with U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds, who oversaw Kilpatrick’s trial and sentencing.

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