Live Blog: Update: Kilpatrick Trial - Mercado Plea - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Live Blog: Kilpatrick Trial -Mercado Plea

Updated:
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DETROIT (myFOXDetroit.com) -

Mercado agreed to spend up to 18 months in prison.  He was facing up to 5 years on this charge.  He also agreed to pay up to $100,000.  The recommended penalty was $250,000.

That's a lot less prison time but still a pretty stiff sentence for a guy in his early 60's.

It's been interesting watching Mercado these last few weeks.  During the breaks, while Bobby, Kwame, and Bernard would stand in the hall talking, sometimes joking and laughing together, Mercado was always off alone on the other side or the building with his attorneys.  Serious, heads close together, talking in hushed tones.

Now the defense can concentrate on the three remaining defendants, Kwame Kilpatrick, Bobby Ferguson, and Bernard Kilpatrick.

M.L. Elrick will have a complete report at 5 and 6 tonight on Fox 2 plus the latest on MyFoxDetrot.Com.

10:57

Victor Mercado and his attorneys have left the court room.  The defense team is conferring,   Chutkow, Pazcewicz, Doeh, Beeckman and Bullotta.  This is a big step for the defense.  They now have a guilty plea from one of the last defendants in the Corruption case and another witness for the prosecution that was on the inside.  Mercado will be almost as damaging a witness to the defense as Derrick Miller who was one of Kwame's most trusted insiders.

10:54

Chutkow asks if he helped Bobby get Contracts.  MErcado says yes.

Judge asks if Chutkow is satisfied.  Crandall and Minnock also say they're satisfied.

Judge asks if Mercado still wants her to accept the guilty plea.  Yes.

Judge says defendant is competent to enter plea,  that plea is accepted.  That sentencing is deferred until after the end of the trial.

Bond is continued.

And we're done.

10:51

Chutkow says 18 months, fine of  no more than $100,000.  Crandall concurs.  Mercado says he understands.  Was not pressured to plead.

Mercado is being asked by Crandall what he did.  Crandall asks if everyone has reviewed agreement. Yes.

Crandall asks if he's looked at documents from 2007, that he had Walbridge Aldinger rep that the Mayor would appreciate a joint venture with Ferguson on the Oak wood CSO project.  yes.

10:47

Chutkow now  explaining terms of plea.  Says parties move to lower prison time, says Mercado didn't take any under the table cash,  was a reluctant participant.

Chutkow says MErcado did push back, but did compromise himself, that this doesn't excuse him, but recognizes that he should not be penalized as stiffly as the guidelines suggest.

10:44

Mercado says he understands.  ASked how he pleas?  Guilty your honor.

10:43

Count one: HObbs act violation, conspiracy to committed overt acts, wrongfully obtained property, under color of official right economic  harm, interstate commerce obstructed.

10:42

Judge asks if he understands that this is a felony, that he can spend time in prison.  Mercado says yes your honor.

Judge asks if he understand that he could spend 5 years in prison, fined $250,000, and be under supervised release.

10:40

Judge is reading constitutional rights now, including being presumed innocent, right to a trial, right to take the stand if he chooses.   His silence may not be used against him.

Mercado answers yes to judge's question, does he agree to plead guilty.

10:37

Judge Edmunds is reading MErcado his rights and asking if he's competent to make this decision.  Crandall and Chutkow also agree.  Mercado is waiving certain rights, says he's satisfied with his attorneys' advice.

10:35

Mercado's attorney John Crandall says he has gone over all the information with his client.  The Judge is now asking Chutkow to read the charges.  conspiracy to commit an illegal act against the U.S. specifically extortion.  That MErcado at direction of Kwame sought to delay contracts unless the winning bidder took on Bobby Ferguson.

10:33

"All Rise" court is in session.  to committee

10:32

The court room gallery is packed but so far the defense table appears empty.  This is a big break in the case which was put on hold for more than a week so Bobby Ferguson's attorney could recover from exhaustion.  Gerald Evelyn had to cut his questioning short last Monday after falling ill during cross examination.  Judge Edmunds adjourned the case until November 13th to let Evelyn recover. 

10:27

Good Morning from the Theodore Levin Federal Court House in Downtown Detroit.  We;re waiting for Victor Mercado and his attorneys to ender the court room at any minute... to enter a guilty plea.

-Ken Martinek is Senior Producer -Investigations for Fox 2 News

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