Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is heading to prison…
Wayne County Judge David Groner sentenced him to one-and-half to five years.
Kilpatrick was escorted out of the courtroom in handcuffs and will be transported to Jackson where he will be processed and soon learn which prison will become his new home.
Before the sentencing, Groner spent more than twenty minutes discussing what led them to this court hearing in the first place.
As Kilpatrick stood before him listening, he looked deep in thought. Groner reminded him the court proceedings were taking place because of him. Groner told him “you lied under oath about your relationship with your then Chief of Staff Christine Beatty.” Groner continued to tell Kilpatrick it was the lawsuit that leads to him being there and owing the city of Detroit.
“You, Mr. Kilpatrick raised the issue of the ability to pay restitution,” Groner said. He said Kilpatrick opened the door to all of this when he said he couldn’t pay. “Your continued attempt to thwart the fact-finding function of this court,” said Groner.
Groner continued to explain all of the elements that lead them to be at this sentencing and told him he continued to violated the law in hiding his assets.
Groner said because Kilpatrick is a public servant and he should be held to higher standards. He said “you have failed to accept responsibility for your actions.” Groner said probation was no longer an option. He said, “That ship has sailed.” Moments later, he told Kilpatrick he would be going to prison for up to five years.
Prosecutors and defense spent the first hour going over the Pre-Sentencing Investigation Report given to them by Kilpatrick’s probation officer.
The prosecution asked the judge to sentence him to a state prison and not allow his probation to continue. Athena Siringus said his bad behavior has continued after his previous sentencing saying he has intentionally and maliciously hidden assets from the court to prevent from paying his restitution to the court.
She told Wayne County Judge David Groner that he has continued to live a million dollar life even though he owes a $1 million to the city of Detroit. She said he has failed to show that he is sorry. He continued to blame others on why he did not follow his probation. He has blamed his attorney, the media, and anyone else but himself.
She said he has willfully ignored the wishes of the court. Siringus said the prosecutors office is recommending Kilpatrick be sentenced to 3-5 years in the Michigan Department of Corrections.
Kilpatrick’s attorney Michael Schwartz told Groner that his client is sorry. He said his client has been cooperative and has made payments.
Schwartz denies that Kilpatrick asked anyone to help pay his restitution. He said that people who came forward and helped pay the money did it on their own.
Throughout Schwartz appeal, Kilpatrick sat with his hand over his face. He looked straight on, never even looking at his attorney.
Schwartz repeated over and over that Kilpatrick is not and has not “thumbed his nose at this court,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said sending Kilpatrick to jail won’t do anyone any good. He said he won’t be able to make his payments to the city.
He said Kilpatrick is not malicious. He said he may have done some things wrong, made mistakes, but he never meant to hurt anyone.
Schwartz “suggested” to Groner to allow the city to get its restitution. He said the only way for that to happen is to not send Kilpatrick to jail. He hushed the courtroom at one point when he told Groner that “it was fine if you want to be vindictive, but it’s not fine if you want the city to get what it desperately needs,” Schwartz said.
When asked if he wanted to speak, Kilpatrick said yes.
“Your honor, I first want to thank you for the opportunity. Let me just start by saying for whatever I did to cause and give rise to my probation, I apologize. It’s hard to speak to some of the things that have been said about me. Let me start by saying I’m a human being. I’m a real life flesh and blood person,” Kilpatrick told the court. “Often times when I read about myself or hear about it from the media, I’m extraordinarily confused, because it’s not me. I am not the mayor of the city. The city has a new mayor.”
“I wasn’t going to do this. But I have to. I cheated on my wife your honor. I met my wife when I was 19-years-old and I knew she was going to be my wife. We planned on having children. The day I became the mayor, the whole focus changed. There’s no one in this courtroom that can understand what its like to be on the global news wire reading text messages that your wife can read,” Kilpatrick told the court.
“I spent a whole year feeling guilty for what I did to my wife, to my kids and to this city. When I walked out of that jail cell in February, the only thing on my mind was to reconcile with my family,” Kilpatrick continued.
Kilpatrick claims he never lied to the court.
He told the court he isn’t a criminal. He isn’t there because he is a danger to his community. He went on to say he was not there for a gun charge or a dope charge. He said “I am here because I got confused over some of the writing in my probation,”
He said he attempted to buy back his wife and children’s love and trust by buying them lavish items. But, it wasn’t because he was just spending money to spend it.
He told Groner that he wants to continue to live his life. He wants to go to bible study. He said he’s a good guy, a good father and “for once in his life he’s a good husband,” he told the court.
“I want to get out of this city so I can move on. I never thought I would go to jail in my life. I want to be free. I want to continue to be on probation. I want to continue to pay my restitution. I don’t want my kids to be fatherless. I don’t want my wife to be husbandless,” Kilpatrick said.
“I know now that I need to follow the rules,” Kilpatrick said. “I know more than ever. I want to go home your honor, now more than ever.”
But none of those attempts to “move on” worked. Groner said that prison was the only way he felt Kilpatrick would learn his lesson.
Come on Down Kwame – and get you custom tailored, one size fits all… Suit –