Judge Ronald Giles of 36th District Court ruled Friday that there is enough evidence to send Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to trial on felony charges that he interfered with officers trying to serve a subpoena.
The judge's ruling came less than five minutes after Wayne County Sheriff's Detective Brian White stepped down from the stand as the final witness in a preliminary examination held to determine whether there is enough to evidence to send Kilpatrick to trial on assault charges.
Giles said, “It's clear Mr. Kilpatrick knew who Detective White was. … He specifically called him by name.”
“There's nothing to show it was accidental,” Giles added, referring to the touching.
Earlier, Giles allowed Kilpatrick's attorney to play audio recordings of calls White made to the Wayne County Sheriff's Department after he allegedly was assaulted by the mayor.
Kilpatrick's attorneys have told Giles that the recording shows that White was not traumatized by the incident and even joked about it. They contend that White and his partner were sent out to set up the mayor.
After Giles' ruling, James Thomas, one of Kilpatrick's attorneys, reiterated his contention that this incident could have been a setup, and that once this contention is developed in a trial and presented to a jury, “You'll have a question, too.”
Thomas said White has portrayed himself as a much more mild-mannered officer than his record would bear. He said he has been told by others, including attorneys, that “This guy is tough – a hard charger.”
Earlier, the mayor's attorneys grilled White about why he decided to stop by the mayor's sister's home to serve a subpoena, triggering an alleged assault that could cost the mayor his job.
“His purpose for going out there is subject to question,” said Thomas.
White had just testified that he had a pain in his right arm, a stiff neck and a sore hip after the mayor assaulted him as he tried to serve a subpoena on Bobby Ferguson at a home that he said he later learned was the home of Kilpatrick's sister, Ayanna.
“He grabbed me with both hands around my shoulders and he threw me – he threw me – into Investigator Kinney. And he was yelling 'Get the f– off my family's porch,'” White said. ”He just came right out at me.”
He said the mayor also accused him of harassing his family.
White also said Kilpatrick berated his partner, Investigator JoAnn Kinney, and told her she should be ashamed of herself for being a black woman and working on this case, an apparent reference to the conspiracy, perjury, misconduct in office and obstruction of justice charges against the mayor. He added that the mayor asked her how she could work with a white man and a man named White. White said the mayor knew who he was because he processed the mayor in March when he turned himself in to the sheriff's office after Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy charged the mayor with eight felonies. White said he also read Kilpatrick his rights and had seen him in court before.
After chasing White and Kinney off his sister's porch, Kilpatrick scolded his police bodyguards who allowed the officers to go onto Ayanna Kilpatrick's porch, White testified. White said he only responded to the mayor's tirade by saying: “Our intention is not to harass your family.”
“I think that only infuriated him more,” he added.
The mayor listened to the testimony calmly. As White described the alleged assault, the mayor shook his head and muttered something unintelligible to those in the courtroom.