Kilpatrick returns to prison without finishing deposition in slain stripper case

Detroit –Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick returned to the federal prison at Milan this afternoon without completing his testimony in the federal lawsuit brought by the family of a slain exotic dancer.

Kilpatrick’s deposition will likely be completed Aug. 5, 9, or 10, said Norman Yatooma, the Birmingham attorney representing the family of Tamara “Strawberry” Greene.

James C. Thomas, the Detroit attorney representing Kilpatrick, said the former mayor’s schedule is dictated by the U.S. Marshal Service and the deposition had to wrap up around 4 p.m. so officials could return Kilpatrick to Milan. Not all of the seven hours set aside for the deposition under federal court rules had been used.

“Mr. Kilpatrick was asked quite a few questions and he was responsive,” Thomas said. “We had a lengthy deposition.”

Yatooma confirmed that Kilpatrick answered questions. “I’m certainly happy that we finally got Mr. Kilpatrick under oath,” he said.

The deposition began just before 10:30 a.m. when Kilpatrick, dressed in a blue business suit, walked down a corridor in the federal courthouse in Detroit and into a small conference room where it was held. Kilpatrick’s hands were cuffed behind his back, and he was flanked by U.S. marshals and his attorneys.

Already inside the room were Jonathan Bond, the 17-year-old son of Greene, and Ernest Flagg, Bond’s father.

Greene, who was linked to a rumored party at the mayor’s city-owned Manoogian Mansion in the fall of 2002, was shot to death in Detroit on April 30, 2003. Her family is suing Kilpatrick and the city, alleging they obstructed the investigation into her still unsolved murder. The defendants deny the allegations.

Kilpatrick, 40, was brought by van this morning from the federal prison at Milan, where he is serving time for a state probation violation and awaiting trial on federal fraud and tax charges.

Thomas said there never was a Manoogian party and Kilpatrick did nothing to obstruct Greene’s murder investigation. He said he did not know going into the deposition whether he would recommend Kilpatrick invoke his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in response to any questions.

“We’ll take it on a question-by-question basis,” Thomas said.

Yatooma said before the deposition started he would not be surprised if Kilpatrick invoked the Fifth. “Kwame Kilpatrick has got a lot going on,” Yatooma said on his way in to the deposition.

“I think we’re going to win,” he added.

The lawsuit, filed in 2005, is scheduled to go to trial early next year in front of Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen.

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