People have been asking 2 questions about the Kilpatrick trial

People have been asking 2 questions about the Kilpatrick trial

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Friends, news junkies, barflies, street people, for years were five questions you always asked me:

- Do you think the Manoogian Mansion Party happened?
- Was Kwame Kilpatrick involved in Strawberry's murder?
- Where did you and Jim Schaefer get the text messages?
- Did you ever fear for your safety?
- Can I borrow 37 cents?

My answers have been pretty much the same: "No," "No," "Can't say," "No," and "Beat it."

Now, you're primarily peppering me with two questions:

- Are Kwame Kilpatrick and his cronies going to get convicted?
- When is this ever-lovin' legal equivalent of the Bataan Death March going to end?

First things first: I have no idea what the jury is going to decide. And it would be foolish to even speculate until we've seen more evidence and heard from Derrick Miller, Hizzoner's former best pal. He agreed to testify as a government witness as part of a plea deal he cut with prosecutors.

As for the second question, I don't know when the trial will end, but I'm hoping that when it does, the staff at the nursing home will be kind enough to:

- Keep me in dry diapers
- Allow the supermodel rubbing my bunions to keep at it - even after visiting hours have passed
- Let me know how it ends (the trial, not the massage).

I'm not the only one getting squirrelly.

While it can be dangerous to read too much into body language, Judge Nancy "Antsy" Edmunds on Tuesday confirmed my suspicion that she was ready to move on after attorneys spent nearly two weeks quizzing two executives from a water department contractor.

After a late morning break, Edmunds asked defense attorney Gerald Evelyn how much longer he anticipated questioning the second executive.

Evelyn said it could take the rest of the day.

"But that's it?" she asked.

"I think so," Evelyn answered.

"I hope so," Edmunds countered.

Outside the courthouse, Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas said prosecutors told him they would be wrapping up their case in January.

Could be mid-January.

Could be late January.

(At this rate, could be January 2014!)

Thomas said the defense, which puts its witnesses on after the government's stable is bare, could take the case into February.

After both sides give closing arguments, the REAL hard work begins: The jury has to make sense of all the hair-splitting. Given that they'll have to parse the truth from six months of testimony, a mountain of evidence and a transcript longer than a Robert Caro biography, I'd say it's safe to say they'll need a day or two to render a verdict. Unless, of course, they can't reach a verdict. In that case, the judge will tell them to keep at it.

I don't want to come off like a whiner. It's cold outside in January and February, and it's fairly toasty inside the courthouse (if not inside the courtroom).

But this thing was supposed to wrap up in early January and, even though we've had an unexpected break due to illness, one of the defendants and a slew of witnesses have been dropped from the case.

Because I'd rather light a candle than curse the darkness, I'm proposing a possible solution:

If the government is still willing to cut deals with the defendants, offer them time served for the days they've been in court.

That way, even if they agree to weighty sentences, their stay at the Gray Bar Hotel won't be long.

Follow M.L. Elrick's coverage of the Kilpatrick & Co. trial daily on FOX 2 and at Contact him at or via Twitter (@elrick) or Facebook. And catch him every Friday morning around 7:15 a.m. on Drew & Mike on WRIF, 101.1 FM. He is co-author of "The Kwame Sutra: Musings on Lust, Life and Leadership from Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick," available at A portion of sales benefit the Eagle Sports Club and Soar Tutoring. Learn more at

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