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Rataj's guess on when Kilpatrick, Ferguson may be sentenced

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Defense attorney Mike Rataj said he anticipates Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson could be sentenced "sometime in August or September." Defense attorney Mike Rataj said he anticipates Kwame Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson could be sentenced "sometime in August or September."
DETROIT (WJBK) -

Kwame Kilpatrick's conviction on public corruption charges seemed to grant the former mayor's wish that Detroit could move forward, but this drama will have a second act -- his sentencing.

It's been five weeks since Kilpatrick and Bobby Ferguson waved good-bye on their way to Milan.  No not cosmopolitan Milan, Italy, but rather Milan, Michigan, home of the Hack House museum, the magnificent Milan Dragway and, of course, their temporary digs at FCI Milan, also known as the Milan Federal Penitentiary.

Kilpatrick and Ferguson asked to be released until their sentencing.  Judge Nancy Edmunds responded the same way to each request -- denied.

The most common questions I get asked these days are do you think Kilpatrick and Ferguson will appeal, how much time do you think they'll get, when will they be sentenced and do you want fries with that?  For answers to some of those questions, we turned to my old pal Mike Rataj.

"We still have to file our Rule 29 and Rule 33 motions," he said.  "Really it's a motion to dismiss the charges not withstanding the verdicts rendered by the jury, and a Rule 33 is a motion for a new trial."

If the judge refuses to throw the verdicts out, the prosecutors will begin working on their sentencing recommendations, and then the lawyers will all be back at court fighting it out once again.

Kilpatrick and Ferguson are facing up to 20 years in prison.

During a press conference after the verdicts were read, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade wouldn't say how many years prosecutors are seeking.

"We expect the sentence that we seek to be significant," she said.

Prosecutors say they will study the sentences handed down in other recent public corruption cases, including former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who got 14 years, and former Cuyahoga, Ohio County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora, who got 28 years.

But first, we need a sentencing date.

"I'm anticipating sometime in August or September, and that's just a guess," Rataj said.

Kilpatrick will be back in court before his sentencing.  He and Ferguson will appear when their lawyers argue for a new trial.

What are the chances that the judge will toss the jury's verdict?

We've heard every side in this case speak very highly of the jury, and nobody held them in higher regard than the judge.  I think it's very unlikely that she will negate all that hard work that they did.

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