Lawyer wants Kilpatrick deposed: Judge asked to order video deposition in Greene murder case

Detroit — A lawyer for the family of slain exotic dancer Tamara “Strawberry” Greene asked a judge Tuesday to order former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to sit for a video deposition in state prison.

Greene, who was linked to a rumored stripper party at the mayor’s 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 of Detroit, alleging they obstructed the investigation of her still-unsolved murder. The defendants deny the allegations.

Norman Yatooma, the lawyer for Greene’s family, has attempted for months to schedule a sworn deposition of Kilpatrick, now serving time for a probation violation at Oaks Correctional Facility near Manistee.

In a court filing, Yatooma said prison officials want a court order before they will allow Kilpatrick to answer questions under oath.

Initially, Kilpatrick’s lawyers would not agree to the video deposition on July 8 unless Kilpatrick was allowed to wear a suit, instead of his prison garb, Yatooma said.

But after prison officials agreed to let Kilpatrick wear a suit, “Kilpatrick’s counsel now advises that he himself is no longer available on July 8” and the deposition will have to be rescheduled, Yatooma told Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen.

James C. Thomas, the attorney representing Kilpatrick in the Greene case, could not be reached for comment.

Kilpatrick was sentenced to 18 months to five years in prison in May after a Wayne County judge found he violated his probation by concealing assets that could have been put toward his $1 million court-ordered restitution.

The restitution stemmed from a 2008 obstruction of justice conviction for lies Kilpatrick told at a police whistle-blower trial in 2007. The former mayor served 99 days in jail in 2008 and 2009 on that conviction.

Last week, a federal grand jury indicted Kilpatrick on 19 counts of felony fraud and tax charges related to his nonprofit, the Kilpatrick Civic Fund. He is to be arraigned on those charges July 13.

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