Magistrate To Review Text Messages In Slain Stripper Case
DETROIT — A federal judge Friday told the lawyer for the family of slain stripper Tamara Greene that he will allow magistrates to go through Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s text messages over an 18-month period and the text messages of other city employees that were sent the morning Greene was shot to death.
U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen told attorneys in the lawsuit against the city that SkyTel, the city’s communication carrier, will release the text messages and he will appoint two federal magistrates to review the messages and other evidence before making anything available to the lawyers and the public.
Birmingham lawyer Norman Yatooma, who represents Greene’s 14-year-old son, Jonathon Bond, in the $150 million lawsuit, claims that Greene’s death was not properly investigated.
Yatooma filed a subpoena last month for SkyTel to produce text messages of 18,000 city officials between 1:30 and 5:30 a.m. on April 30, 2003, the day Greene was fatally shot to death in a drive-by shooting in Detroit.
“We are going to receive from the defendants a list of people who had SkyTel pagers during those relevant periods. We will pick a smaller group of people, from those time periods and then SkyTel will produce that information,” said Yatooma.
Rosen has agreed to allow the magistrates review the selected text messages.
Greene, 27, whose stage name was Strawberry, allegedly danced at the rumored Manoogian Mansion party. She was later shot and killed and the homicide remains unsolved.
Yatooma is also seeking the text messages of Kilpatrick’s former bodyguards Mike Martin and Lorenzo Jones, former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty and former Police Chief Jerry Oliver.
The text messages sought include those from former Detroit homicide lieutenant, Alvin Bowman, who claims members of the city’s police department tried to block his investigation in Greene’s death.
The appointed magistrates will look through the text messages and only those messages that are relevant to the case will be brought forward in trial.
Yatooma and the city’s attorney will be able to view the messages before the plaintiffs, so they have the opportunity to object.
The bombshell ruling came a few days after a former employee for the Detroit Police Department, Joyce Carolyn Rogers, has sworn in an affidavit that she remembered exotic dancer Tamara Greene filing a police report claiming that Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife, Carlita, had assaulted her during a party at the mayor’s residence.
Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox announced Thursday that he will look into new information related to a rumored 2002 party at Kilpatrick’s official residence.
When he first investigated in 2003, Cox found no evidence the party occurred, saying it had the earmarks of an urban legend.
The mayor’s attorney is trying to get the case thrown out by citing a technicality that Greene’s daughter, not her son, is named on her estate.
Yatooma countered his argument by saying, “As Tamara Greene’s son, he has a right to access these courts… In this particular case, he has a right to know who in fact murdered his mom.”
Rosen said the case will not be dismissed.