Traverse City Record-Eagle


October 12, 2013

Kilpatrick pal Ferguson gets 21 years in prison

21 years for Kwame’s pal, Bobby Ferguson

DETROIT — A contractor convicted of tag-teaming with a Detroit mayor to commit corruption worth millions was sentenced Friday to 21 years in federal prison.

Bobby Ferguson’s punishment was more than double what his attorneys had sought. It came a day after former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison, one of the longest penalties in recent cases of public corruption in the U.S.

“Bobby Ferguson was the catalyst at the center of an historic and unprecedented criminal scheme,” U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds said.

Woman gets 90 days for leaving kids alone

CADILLAC — A 34-year-old woman who authorities say left her four children unattended in a van while she was at work in northern Michigan has been sentenced to 90 days in jail.

The Cadillac News reports the sentence for Pennie Cates this week came after she earlier pleaded no contest in Circuit Court in Wexford County to fourth-degree child abuse and leaving a child in a vehicle causing physical harm. She gets credit for 72 days served.

A no contest plea isn’t an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.

Cates was arrested in Cadillac this summer when officers found the children ages 1 to 7 unattended in her van for several hours in a fast food restaurant parking lot. reports she was working at another restaurant nearby.

Man claims diplomatic immunity for charge

MUSKEGON — A jailed West Michigan man claimed to be a “sovereign citizen” and to have diplomatic immunity while refusing to allow himself to be arraigned on a resisting arrest and obstructing police charge.

Court documents state 36-year-old Muhhammad Abdel Hakeem was uncooperative Thursday and Friday as jail employees tried to get him before a Muskegon County 60th District Court magistrate, The Muskegon Chronicle reported.

Abdel Hakeem was placed on Monday’s arraignment list.

He was arrested Wednesday after a female utility worker called 911 to report being threatened while trying to disconnect natural gas service at his Muskegon home.

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