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Kwame Kilpatrick and Mike Cox Tornado in Detroit: Local 4 Defender News Outlet Gets Cold Case Revisited? Click on Detroit posts Depositions

July 29, 2010

I was asked just yesterday what prompted the FBI to begin an investigation into the affairs surrounding the former disgraced Detroit mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick and Mike Cox’s involvement.  I found the news report from last October 2009 in which details emerged that police believed Mike Cox’s office was involved in destroying evidence linked to the murder of Ms. Greene, who was allegedly a stripper at the party at Manoogian Mansion that Mike Cox called “urban legend.”

Watch: Detectives Reveal Details About Greene Death

DETROIT — Testimony of one of three Michigan State Police detectives heard Tuesday during a lawsuit hearing brought by the family of slain Detroit exotic dancer Tamara Greene revealed that they believed the Detroit Police Department was destroying evidence in the case. But his testimony also said because of actions by Attorney General Mike Cox, they were powerless to stop them.

Michigan State Police detective Mark Krebs gave six hours of testimony Tuesday.

Greene’s family is suing the city, ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and other officials. Greene’s family attorney Norman Yatooma claims they stifled a police investigation into her 2003 shooting death.

The 27-year-old Greene is rumored to have danced at a never-proven wild party at the mayor’s official Manoogian Mansion residence a few months before she was killed.

Detectives Curt Schram, John Figurski and Krebs were looking into the original case until it was closed.

The three detectives had filed motions in U.S. District Court asking that they not be required to testify in the lawsuit hearing because an elite violent crimes task force has reopened the case. However, a judge decided Tuesday that the detectives’ testimony was imperative.

The task force is made up of officials from the FBI, Michigan State Police and the Detroit Police Department.

Since Krebs was the only one to testify Tuesday, Schram and Figurski will be deposed at another hearing.

Krebs had wanted to come clean for years, but said he was ordered by his bosses not to come forward under any circumstances.

“These are state troopers who did their best to investigate what was going on. Look at Tamara Greene, the party and everything else that was contained in that Gary Brown memorandum. I have no reason to believe that they will be objectionable,” said attorney Norman Yatooma.

The three detectives said they had solid leads that Kwame Kilpatric had a party with strippers at the mansion; sources including people who worked at the alleged party and 911 dispatchers who took calls of a possible assault by the former mayor’s wife.

The officers said Cox killed the investigation by refusing to allow investigators to subpoena witnesses, insisting that Carlita Kilpatrick not be interviewed at all and that Kwame Kilpatrick have a meeting with him.

“It’s the idea that the state troopers were trying to investigate and they were denied subpoena power by the attorney general’s office. So shut down, well if you have no subpoena power you have no opportunity to move forward,” said Yatooma.

The decision to reopen the case follows a Local 4 Defender investigation that uncovered a team of new police officers who, in sworn statements, said they were shut down when they tried to follow up on leads. The officers testified that one lead involved how self-proclaimed hit man Vincent Smothers could have been involved in Greene’s death, but that the investigation was shut down by police brass in Kilpatrick’s final months as mayor.

It appears that the news outlet’s involvement resulted in more information than what was being pushed forward by the Detroit Police Department, but did Mike Cox’s office, or those under his direction, destroy evidence related to the murder of Ms. Greene?  It took Greene’s attorneys 4 years to get the file related to her homicide investigation:

(August 121, 2009)A federal judge allowed those attorneys to look at the Detroit police homicide file on Greene’s 2003 killing.

Tamara Greene was an stripper who danced under the name of Strawberry. She was alleged to have danced at a party at the Manoogian Mansion in 2002 when Kwame Kilpatrick was Detroit’s mayor and lived at the mansion. The party has long been rumored but never proven. A state investigation concluded it never happened.

On April 30, 2003, Greene was in a car with her boyfriend on Detroit’s west side when a gunman opened fire on their vehicle, killing Greene and wounding the boyfriend.

The murder case came to light later in two separate police whistleblower trials. In one case, police homicide commander Alvin Bowman testified he was demoted for looking into the case and said the file kept getting smaller over time. Bowman won his suit.

Attorneys for Tamara Greene’s family have charged that the Detroit police department deliberately did not actively investigate the case. They claim that was a violation of Greene’s and her family’s civil rights.

A federal judge has kept the homicide file under seal. On Wednesday he allowed the Greene family’s attorneys to examine it inside the judge’s chambers.

The attorneys were ordered by the judge not to copy any of the file or discuss publicly what they saw.

As far as the Detroit police are concerned, the killing of Greene remains unsolved.

I am looking for more information on this, because all of this happened last summer, but it appears that Local 4 Defender did have an impact in getting the case re-opened.  Now the judge involved in the case believes that the news media may hamper this investigation in 2010:

Greene’s family is suing high-ranking police officials and former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, claiming they stifled the homicide investigation in 2003. Those accused have denied the charges.

“Criminal investigations cannot be conducted by the media… I am simply asking that during the discovery phase of the civil lawsuit, that the Court maintains the procedural safeguards currently in place to avoid any interference with the ongoing investigation,” said Worthy in the letter.

Greene’s Birmingham Attorney Norman Yatooma had been in favor of more public access to the file, noting that publicity typically produces new, relevant information. But he changed his stance after seeing Worthy’s letter.

“In the best interest of Tammy Greene’s family and with the effort to solve her investigation and our investigation, I will defer to Kym Worthy,” said Yatooma.

Seven years after Greene’s fatal shooting, any progress in the investigation “could be hampered by the improper disclosure of information crucial to the case,” Worthy said.

Worthy said the initial probe into Greene’s death was “woefully inadequate.”

The sealed documents include the deposition of Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox, who investigated rumors of a 2002 party hosted by Kilpatrick and possibly attended by Greene. Cox has called it an “urban legend.”

Greene, a dancer known as Strawberry, was rumored to have been at the “urban legend” party at the Manoogian mansion thrown by Kilpatrick in 2002.

It was also rumored that Greene was assaulted by the mayor’s wife, Carlita, when she walked into the party and saw Greene with Kilpatrick.

Even though there is a 911 call requesting help for Ms.Greene after she was assaulted by Kilpatrick’s wife, supposedly Ms. Greene was never at the party?? Sounds fishy to me too.  Cue the 911-dispatcher this past April 2010, and now there is more validity to the story that the “urban legend party,” as Mike Cox claims may have been more than what he admits:

Sandy Cardenas said she received several “high-priority” calls to dispatch police officers to a disturbance at the Manoogian Mansion the night of the alleged party. The responding officers told Cardenas that they were prevented from going into the mansion and that they went to Kilpatrick’s other home at the time to pick up Carlita to help them gain entry.

“Once Carlita got inside the mansion, the disturbance heated up immediately and an assault took place,” said Cardenas in a sworn affidavit.

Cardenas said a number of police dispatchers were at the mansion for several hours, and it caused backups in other parts of the city because many of the cruisers were tied up.

Cardenas said the next night she came to work and all the 911 tapes of the run had been removed.

The midnight dispatcher told Cardenas that an Internal Affairs Officer took the tapes.

Officer Demoted, Forced Into Early Retirement For Investigating Greene

Sgt. Odell Godbold Sr., who worked with the Detroit Police Department for almost 30 years, was in charge of the DPD’s Cold Case Squad when he was assigned the Tamara Greene cold case in 2004.

He said that he was removed from the case a short time later, demoted and forced into early retirement in 2006 after he discovered that an active-duty female Detroit police officer named Peytra Williams danced alongside Greene at the party and that she too was assaulted by Carlita Kilpatrick.

Williams told Godbold, “She was scared and didn’t know what to do,” he said in the affidavit.

Godbold said that current Deputy Chief James Tolbert, and then-Assistant Police Chief Walter Martin and Inspector Tony Saunders told him to not “let anyone see the Greene file and (not to) talk about it.”

Godbold said after Tolbert and the others talked to him, he was ordered by William Rice, inspector of the Major Crimes Bureau, to hand over the Greene files, which he did.

A few days later, Martin said to Godbold, “You dumb mother-(expletive), I told you no one sees that file,” he said in the affidavit.

A few days later, Rice was removed and replaced by Saunders. Tolbert was put in charge of the homicide section.

Kilpatrick eventually promoted Saunders to deputy chief and Tolbert to commander.

Godbold said in 2005, the cold case was abruptly shut down and his computer was confiscated.

Shortly thereafter, Godbold said he was forced to either take early retirement or “be a part of a perceived conspiracy to undermine the integrity of the Tamara Greene’s homicide investigation.”

After his retirement, Godbold took a position with CrimeStoppers, a nonprofit organization that forwards anonymous tips to police departments.

He said during that time he saw many tips regarding the Greene murder investigation come in and they were forwarded to the Detroit Police Department.

“I never saw a vast majority of that information during the time I investigated her murder,” said Godbold.

Thank God for the news outlets–they seem to have gotten more information out of the cold case than any of the official departments have. Readers on the ClickonDetroit site encourage others to read the transcripts:

WOW, you have to read the transcripts link titled “New Green Documents Released”. It’s AMAZING folks, the news article doesn’t cover many of the most critical testimonies!
Based on the sworn testimonies, there may be dozens of folks headed to jail.

READ THE TRANSCRIPTS, you won’t believe it!

Click on Detroit provides lots of links, with a historical timeline of the stories and events in the case.  Kudos to Click on Detroit for staying on top of this and organizing this information for others to read!

Click on Detroit has provided a link to the transcripts:

Transcripts of 911 Dispatcher stating that Detroit Officers let Carlita (Kwame Kilpatrick’s wife) into the Manoogian Mansion and problems erupted.  The 911 Dispatcher also states that the next night a “Detroit Police Officer came into the Dispatch area and removed all the 911 dispatch tapes of the run. The Midnight dispatchers specifically told me it was an Internal Affairs Officer who took the tapes…” Included in this file is a deposition from the triage personnel who first treated the woman Carlita assaulted.

Local 4 Defender just reported that Carlita, Kilpatrick’s wife, is stating that she will not testify against her husband, and Bernard, Kilpatrick’s father is stating he doesn’t want to answer questions that will be open to the public for fear of “injuring the family.”  Now Carlita Kilpatrick and Bernard Kilpatrick don’t want their children and grand children to read what they have to say, and in that way are “protecting their children,” but what about Green’s son?

Greene’s family is suing the city for $150 million, claiming Detroit police deliberately blocked the investigation into her death.

The family claims Greene was assaulted by Carlita Kilpatrick at the never-proven party and later killed by a Detroit police gun.

The Kilpatricks’ attorney, Bobbie Gray Edmunds of Fort Worth, said in court filings that his clients intend to invoke their Fifth Amendments rights and decline to give testimony to avoid incriminating themselves.

Carlita Kilpatrick will invoke her spousal privileges against providing information against her husband.

Kwame Kilpatrick is in federal prison in Milan after he was sentenced to one and a half to five years in prison for state probation violation. Last month he was indicted on 19 federal tax evasion charges and faces an ongoing investigation.

“Information could adversely affect her and the Kwame Kilpatrick matter,” the court filings say. “Therefore, the subpoena should be quashed.”

Also, Carlita Kilpatrick is requesting that her deposition be sealed because she has minor children who “could read and understand the negative news stories about the family and it would serve no legitimate public interest to have her deposition, if taken be made to the public,” said the court filings.

Bernard Kilpatrick is also requesting that if he is deposed, the records remain sealed to further protect his family.

Both have requested that the depositions not be video taped and not last longer than two hours.

U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen has not yet decided whether the Kilpatricks will be deposed.

Local 4 has learned that 32 people, including former Detroit Police Chiefs Ella Bully-Cummings and Jerry Oliver, are all scheduled to testify within the next two weeks.

Kwame Kilpatrick’s deposition has been scheduled for July 29.

Two of Kilpatrick’s former bodyguards, Mike Martin and Lorenzo Jones, and Detroit police whistle-blower Gary Brown were deposed last Friday.

A Michigan inmate, Darrett King, was also deposed. He is in prison for assault with intent to commit murder in 2004. His role in the lawsuit isn’t known.

Grammatical issues with Kilpatrick’s attorney asided (her and her husband?? quashed??), Tamara Greene also had three children, and they have been deprived of a mother.  Kilpatricks’ want to protect their children from evidence, while Greene’s children will never be protected from their mother’s murder?  Poor defensive strategy, but hey, it looks like that is the name of the game here…

“A lot of people have answers,” said Greene’s 17-year-old son, Jonathan Bond. “A lot of people have answers and that’s basically what I want, answers.

Four Michigan State Police investigators have testified at previous hearings that Attorney General Mike Cox interfered with their efforts to investigate the rumored party.

Cox has maintained that he didn’t cover anything up and has not done anyone any favors.

“Every person involved in this investigation has lost their job or feared for their safety, or both,” said Yatooma. “Are we really going to try to suggest it was not covered up? That somebody in authority and control, like Kwame Kilpatrick himself, did not cover this up? Our case is well on its way.”

Kwame Kilpatrick and the City of Detroit remain as defendants in the $150 million wrongful death case.

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