5 potential jurors out as Kilpatrick trial jury selection starts - Fox 2 News Headlines

5 potential jurors out as Kilpatrick trial jury selection starts

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Kwame Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas talks to reporters outside of court.  (Credit: MyFox Detroit) Kwame Kilpatrick attorney Jim Thomas talks to reporters outside of court. (Credit: MyFox Detroit)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

16 people went up and essentially auditioned Thursday for being on a jury for the trial of the century.  Eleven may have made the cut.  Five got washed out, but it was a day that people will be talking about for a long time.

They came to court Thursday with confidence -- Kwame Kilpatrick and contractor pal Bobby Ferguson, Bernard Kilpatrick and former Detroit water honcho Victor Mercado.

All four are accused of running a public corruption racket.  The RICO case alleges bribery, extortion, fraud and obstruction of justice.

Mercado attorney John Minock arrived without concern.

"No, none at all.  Not for Mr. Mercado."

After a full day of jury selection, Fox 2 legal analyst Charlie Langton saw defense strategy start to emerge.

"There seems to be a strategy on the part of... Kilpatrick and the defendants that Bobby Ferguson was given preferential treatment because he's black.  It's almost like an affirmative action program, favors for doing jobs in the City of Detroit.  That's legal, that's okay if assuming that jurors are going to believe that.  That seems to be their defense strategy.  Now the government is countering that by basically saying that favors are illegal and that you got to follow the rules and that nobody should be given preferential treatment."

Afterward, Kwame Kilpatrick lawyer Jim Thomas said he was please with the process.

"Key is for us to find out what it is exactly the jurors are thinking and whether or not they're predisposed and whether or not they can be fair and impartial, and so towards that end, this is working very well."

This has been a meticulous process.  It's going to continue for at least another week.

You might think that taking four months out of your life to sit in judgment over the former mayor and the other defendants is something most people wouldn't want to do, but you would be surprised.  What we heard is that people are looking forward to doing this civic duty and being a part of something that people around here will remember for a long time.

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