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Prosecution in Ex-Detroit Mayor Case Rests: Defense Starts Its Offense With a Whimper

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — After 4 1/2 months and about 80 witnesses, the prosecution in the federal trial of the ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick rested Thursday morning, opening the door for the defense to begin calling witnesses in what’s expected to take less than two weeks.

But things didn’t go so great for the defense on its first day on the offense.

Jim Thomas, Kilpatrick’s attorney, called to the stand forensic accountant Gary Leeman, an expert in non-profits, who appeared to be more of a help to the prosecution than the defense.

During cross examination, Leeman laughed when prosecutor Mike Bullotta asked if yoga lessons for Kilpatrick would have been a legit expense from the Kilpatrick Civic Fund, a non-profit fund created to help the community.

“I would highly doubt that that would be proper,” he said laughing a bit. “Not even close.”

It was obviously something Thomas would have preferred not to hear from his own witness.

To read more click here.

 

 

Stepfather of Slain FBI Informant Loses Temper During Murder Trial

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Johnny Davis showed flashes of anger as he recounted watching his stepson get shot in the head in Newark, N.J., in 2004, NorthJersey.com reports.

Davis’ stepson, Kemo Deshawn McCray, was an FBI informant when prosecutors say he was gunned down by an attorney who wanted to stop the man from testifying against a client, NewJersey.com wrote.

Davis delivered the testimony Wednesday at the murder and racketeering trial of the attorney, Paul W. Bergrin, who is representing himself.

At one point, Davis grew louder as he remembered looking back at his son when the gun went off.

“That’s when I saw my son with a (expletive) hole in his head,” Davis said.

The judge urged Davis to ease up, NorthJersey.com reported.

Cornered by a Mass Murderer? Just Grab Some Scissors, Video Advises.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

You’re holed up in your office when a crazed gunman opens fire.

What to do?

Fight back with a pair of scissors.

The advice is part of an instructional video from the Department of Homeland Security on how to respond to a mass killer, the New York Post reports.

“If you are caught out in the open and cannot conceal yourself or take cover, you might consider trying to overpower the shooter with whatever means are available,” the narrators on the video says. 

Islamic Group: FBI Agents Intimidate Somali Man; Bureau Investigates

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s Minneapolis office is investigating claims that two agents pressured a Somali man to work as an informant in the Somali community, the Pioneer Press reports.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group, requested the probe last week.

The man claims the agents were “intimidating and threatening” him in an attempt to get him to cooperate with an undercover investigation, the Pioneer Press reported.

The FBI pledged to take the allegations seriously.

“We’re just trying to determine what happened, and appropriate action will be taken, or not, depending on what we discover here,” FBI Special Agent Kyle Loven told the Pioneer Press.

 

 

Jury to Decide Fate of Somali-Born Man Accused of Terrorism in Portland

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jurors today are deliberating the fate of a Somali-born man accused of trying to detonate a bomb at a 2010 Christmas tree-lighting ceremony, the Daily Beast reports.

The big question is whether Mohamed Mohamud, who was in braces and 19 years old when he first met undercover agents, was entrapped by overzealous law enforcers.

Both sides delivered closing arguments Wednesday, the Daily Beast wrote.

Mohamud’s attorney said his client was a vulnerable, impressionable teenager who had no intention of hurting anyone until feds approached him with the idea of detonating a bomb.

Prosecutors countered that Mohamud is a serious threat because he intended to kill up to thousands of people.

The Inventor of “Nagra,” A Recording System Used by Fed Agents, Has Died

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal agents remember the “Nagra,”, the first portable professional sound recorder.

Well, the inventor of the system, Stefan Kudelski, has died at age 84, according to swissinfo.ch, the website for the Swiss Broadcasting company.  The Kudelski Group in Switzerland made the announcement.

One former federal official told ticklethewire.com that it was a portable tape recorder that agents taped to their body.

“It had a specific tape length so the agents had to conclude their dealings within that set time,” he said.

The Swiss news organization reported that Kudelski created the Nagra in 1951. It was also used by the radio, film and television industry.

To read more clickhere. 

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Republican Senator Sessions Slams ICE Director Morton, Calling for His Resignation

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday blasted the performance of ICE Director John Morton and called for his resignation, saying he has failed to enforce immigration law, the Daily Caller reports.

“Mr. Morton can no longer effectively serve at this post, and perhaps more importantly there can be no comprehensive immigration reform as long as he’s the person in charge with enforcing it,” Sessions said, explaining failures to enforce current immigration law.

Sessions and others have criticized the Obama administration of diluting immigration enforcement.

“It’s well documented that the Obama administration has either unilaterally weakened or outright waived the enforcement at the border, at the — in the interior and at the work site and at the welfare office of existing immigration laws,” Sessions explained. “That’s just a fact.”