Kwame Kilpatrick Trial Prosecutors Plan To Call 500 Witnesses, Offer 370,000 Text Messages As Evidence

05/30/2012 10:16 am ET | Updated May 30, 2012

The trial of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who faces numerous charges of embezzlement and corruption, is shaping up to be a long one.

WXYZ reports the prosecution has a list of 500 witnesses prepared for the trial, but it's the 370,000 text messages from the city's phone service provider, obtained when Kilpatrick was in office, that will play a central role in the case, according to the Associated Press.

Both the defense and prosecution filed motions Tuesday, making extensive demands before a deadline in Kilpatrick's federal racketeering trial. The prosecution hopes the texts will be allowed as evidence, and attorneys have come up with some unique and entertaining ways to identify the senders.

Kilpatrick was apparently easy to spot through his text message style, signing messages with "Mayor" or "Mayor Kilpatrick," according to WXYZ, and relying on the word "COOL!" perhaps a little too much, according to the Detroit News.

His father, Bernard Kilpatrick, allegedly offered sage wisdom at the end of his texts with the sign-off, “Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember ... it’s all small stuff." Friend and contractor Bobby Ferguson set himself apart with misspellings and grammatical errors.

This is not the first time the former mayor's tendency to lay out his transgressions in text messages has been used against him. In the "sexting" scandal of several years ago, text messages from Kilpatrick's early years in office revealed his affair with former Chief of Staff Christine Beatty and their conspiracy to fire then-deputy police chief Gary Brown.

The two Kilpatricks, Ferguson and Victor Mercado, a former head of Detroit’s Water and Sewerage Department, make up the so-called "Kilpatrick Enterprise" that allegedly engaged in extensive corruption during the mayor's stint in office. The four men have all pleaded not guilty and will head to court for in September for the federal trial. Kilpatrick faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

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