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Elrick: Kilpatrick's 'jaw dropped' as verdict was read

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Sketch of Kwame Kilpatrick in federal court Sketch of Kwame Kilpatrick in federal court
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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Fox 2's M.L. Elrick has covered the Kilpatrick incorporated trial from gavel to gavel and was in the courtroom when Kwame Kilpatrick heard the words guilty over and over again.  What was his reaction?

"He came into court confident.  When he looked at the jury, he stared at them the whole time until several counts were read and it was clear that he was going to be found guilty.  At that point, his jaw dropped.  He began to quiver a little bit.  He didn't cry," said Elrick.  "Then he just watched the jury as they read count after count after count -- none of it good news."

Elrick said Kilpatrick's aunt, Marsha Cheeks, was in the courtroom as the verdict was announced, as was his grandfather, Marvell Cheeks.  Kilpatrick's mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, was not there for the verdict, but was present as her son was led away to jail.

Elrick described the scene as follows,  "We watched as he took off his coat.  He took off his cufflinks.  He took off his watch.  He took off his belt.  His aunt, Marsha... said, 'We love you, baby.  God's got you, baby.'  Mr. Kilpatrick responded, 'Love you.'  Then he said, 'Take it easy, mom.  Be strong.'  And as he was being led out of the courtroom, his hands behind his back in handcuffs, he said, 'No doubt.  No fear.'"

As for the jury in this trial, Elrick said they were "very serious and diligent".  During a question and answer session, he said, "They talked over and over again about how the evidence was the basis for their decision."

Elrick also said the jury "didn't decide any counts on one piece of evidence...  They said that these crimes were not victimless crimes, that they felt they had to be the voice for the community and that they wanted to send a message that if you do something that's illegal and the evidence shows that, the jury will make the correct decision."

Elrick said of one juror, she "said she voted for Kwame Kilpatrick twice and that she was not angry, but she was disappointed, disappointed in herself for supporting him when he was mayor.  And she said I saw a lot that really turned my stomach."

Elrick also had an encounter with Bobby Ferguson inside the courthouse.  He said, "Bobby was sitting quietly on the first floor outside the overflow room where the public can see the case.... I walked up to him.  I shook his hand, and I said, 'Bobby, I'm sorry.'  He was very graceful.  He said, 'Thank you,' and he said, 'Tell your wife I said hello.'... He seemed to be taking this all in stride for a man who just heard probably the worst news he had ever heard in his entire life."

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