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Was Kwame Kilpatrick in Detroit? Online photos hint he was

The Detroit News

Less than two weeks after being freed from federal prison, Kwame Kilpatrick might have made a brief comeback in the city he once led as mayor.

The Detroit native was pictured in a photo posted Friday on the Instagram page of Al Wilson, who is listed as affiliated with a local barbershop called Cut It Out International.

Earlier Friday, the page featured a video showing Kilpatrick, clad in a red hooded sweatshirt, scrawling on a message board with a marker. The caption reads: "Welcome home bro!"

The appearance would be his first publicly known return to Detroit since outgoing President Donald Trump commuted Kilpatrick's sentence last week and freed him from a lockup at a minimum-security prison in Oakdale, Louisiana. Kilpatrick still had 16 years remaining on his sentence after receiving credit for good behavior in prison.

After being found guilty of orchestrating a racketeering and bribery scheme while in public office, Kilpatrick was sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2013, the longest term issued in a federal corruption case in U.S. history.

Less than 24 hours after the commutation, Kilpatrick reunited with relatives at Atlanta's airport, then also appeared in a photo with his father, Bernard, who lives near the Atlanta area in Fayetteville, Georgia, a half-hour from Cheeks Kilpatrick.

Bernard Kilpatrick himself served a short, 10-month prison term on tax charges after jurors in the City Hall corruption case failed to reach a consensus about whether he had participated in the racketeering conspiracy headed by his son.

Before the federal corruption case came into view, Kilpatrick resigned in 2008 after a text messaging scandal revealed an illicit affair with his then-chief of staff, Christine Beatty, who now lives in Midtown, Atlanta. Beatty spent 69 days in jail after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in the matter.

In the days after his release, Kilpatrick's sons and nephews could be seen on social media joined with Beatty's children, saying, "It's a celebration," as they cheered drinks to #FreeKwame in an Airbnb in Barnesville, Georgia.