Betrayal: High School Pal of Ex-Detroit Mayor Becomes a Star Prosecution Witness
DETROIT — In the eighth-floor federal courtroom where Kwame Kilpatrick is on trial, prosecutors in coming weeks will summon one of their star witnesses: Derrick “Zeke” Miller.
Miller, who authorities say was a “bagman” and “right-hand man” for Kilpatrick, was a close friend of the mayor — not a fair-weather flatterer, as politicians often attract.
He first met Kilpatrick in Mrs. Cunningham’s ninth-grade English class at Cass Tech High School. They forged a friendship. He helped Kilpatrick get elected and worked in Kilpatrick’s inner circle at city hall along with another classmate of theirs, Christine Beatty, who would eventually become a central figure in the text messaging scandal.
“Other than my wife and Christine, I trusted no one more than Zeke,” Kilpatrick wrote in his 2011 autobiography. Eventually, the friendship died.
Miller — who went by nickname “Zeke” because of his affinity for Pistons basketball star Isiah “Zeke” Thomas — could have been sitting at the defense table along with Kilpatrick. He was initially one of five people named in the Kilpatrick indictment along with Kilpatrick’s close buddy, Bobby Ferguson, a contractor; father Bernard Kilpatrick and water department ex-director Victor Mercardo.
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