Where was Kilpatrick's family in court? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Where was Kilpatrick's family in court?

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DETROIT, Mich. (WJBK) -

A federal judge sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick Thursday to 28 years in prison for his role in a public corruption scandal that cost the city millions.

In March, Kilpatrick, 43, was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the "Kilpatrick enterprise," a years-long scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies. He was doomed by his own text messages, which revealed efforts to fix deals for a pal, Bobby Ferguson, an excavator who got millions of dollars in city work through the water department.

The Kilpatrick family has always stood strong, and by Kwame's side, but when his severe 28-year sentence was handed down Thursday, the former Mayor's parents, wife and children were nowhere to be found.

During Thursday's testimony at the sentencing hearing, Kilpatrick said that did not want to drag his family through this day.  He said he did now want his boys to see him in this way.  He also said his he knew his wife, Carlita, and his sons were sending his love.

The only family member inside the courtroom was cousin Anjene Cheeks-Evans. We're told Kilpatrick turned to the cousin and talked during courtroom breaks Thursday, but Cheeks-Evans declined to talk to any cameras after the hearing.

Pastor W.J. Rideout, who has counseled the family was there. "The family is hurt. The family feels bad, they feel pain, just like anybody else does. My concern is that his dear, precious sons have to suffer 28 years without being with their father," Rideout tells Fox 2's Taryn Asher.

Alternate juror Sean McKinney also sat in on the hearing, saying the judge did an "adequate job."

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more in Asher's report

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