Kilpatrick bodyguards deny atending stripper’s funeral
Detroit — Two of Kwame Kilpatrick’s former bodyguards denied attending slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene’s funeral, despite claims they were caught on videotape among the mourners.
Ex-bodyguards Loronzo Jones and Greg Martin disputed an accusation contained in a federal court filing in November that both attended Greene’s funeral.
Detroit homicide investigator Sgt. Marian Stevenson testified under oath in a deposition that she spotted the two bodyguards on the videotape.
The allegation was made in the long-running civil lawsuit filed by Greene’s family, which accuses the city and Kilpatrick of obstructing an investigation into the woman’s unsolved death. Greene is rumored to have danced at a never-proven party at the Manoogian Mansion.
Both bodyguards testified in U.S. District Court in Detroit today in a battle over e-mails sought by Greene family lawyer Norman Yatooma.
“To say there was a party, that’s comical. But to attach a murder to it or insinuate we had anything to do with it, that’s criminal,” Martin told reporters outside federal court.
Last fall, Yatooma filed paperwork in the case that claimed the Rev. Kenneth Hampton of Grace Bible Church in Detroit gave a copy of the funeral videotape to Detroit Police executives. Yet the videotape and funeral registry were missing from the homicide file, Yatooma wrote in the court filing.
Both bodyguards said they did not know Greene or attend the funeral.
“I want the tape,” Martin told reporters. “I want the truth to be out there.”
City lawyer John Schapka said the videotape is not missing and he reviewed it with Stevenson, the homicide investigator, who initially made the claim.
She has since recanted, Schapka said today.