June 14 trial date set for Drew Peterson


Judge sets trial date for Drew
Hearsay hearing ends, murder trial upcoming for Peterson
February 26, 2010

By JOE HOSEY jhosey@stmedianetwork.com
Drew Peterson is less than four months away from meeting the men and women who will decide whether he heads to prison for what will surely be the rest of his life.

Judge Stephen White Feb. 23 set a June 14 date for the start of jury selection for Peterson’s murder trial.

Peterson, a 56-year-old former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is charged with drowning his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004.

Savio and Peterson were in the midst of a contentious divorce when she was found dead in her dry bathtub. She was due to claim hundreds of thousands of dollars of her husband’s assets only weeks after she died.

Despite the financial savings Peterson achieved through Savio dying, and the circumstances of her death, state police investigators quickly determined she accidentally drowned and closed the case.

State police were forced to open it back up after Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in October 2007.

Peterson claims his fourth wife left him and ran off with an unidentified lover. If Stacy did indeed abscond with a boyfriend, she has managed to keep such a low profile that she not been heard from since.

State police do not buy Peterson’s story of abandonment and have publicly identified him as the sole suspect in what they have termed Stacy’s “potential homicide.” Police have not charged Peterson with harming Stacy.

The state police did arrest Peterson in May for the murder of Savio, and he has remained in jail on a $20 million bond while awaiting his trial, which will commence after a jury is picked.

White said two shifts of 35 potential jurors each will be brought through court when the selection starts.

Attorneys from both sides will have 240 possible jurors to choose from. In August, White had the 240 men and women come to court and fill out questionnaires. He also warned them to avoid information about the Peterson case…

Read the entire story at the Bolingbrook Sun

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Greta producer claims he never touched Savio’s body during autopsy

Steph Watts

Last week the Chicago Tribune reported that during Drew Peterson’s hearsay hearing, forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden testified about a somewhat unorthadox assistant at the autopsy of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

During cross-examination, Michael Baden acknowledged that a producer for Fox News host Greta Van Susteren helped him with the autopsy on Kathleen Savio by taking photos and moving the body. “One always needs an assistant during an autopsy and there was no one else available,” Baden said.

Steph Watts, now a freelance TV reporter and producer refuted this account of his participation on his blog yesterday stating:

It’s been interesting watching the media report the story of my alleged participation in the autopsy of former Bollingbrook police officer Drew Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

For all of you who preferred to regurgitate inaccuracies, and didn’t take the time to simply call to check the facts, here they are:

It was through my work on Greta’s show, that we uncovered documents leading us to facts that questioned the original classification of Kathleen Savio’s death as an accident, and exposed egregious errors by the Bollingbrook Police Department, the original coroner and the coroner’s jury. Dr. Michael Baden agreed that the findings indicated Savio’s death was a homicide. After reviewing the same documents, the State Attorney’s office decided to exhume the body of Kathleen Savio and perform a second autopsy. The family of Kathleen Savio, weary of the State Attorney’s office, discussed with me having an additional private autopsy done, but knew they could never afford such an expensive endeavor. I took their interest to Dr. Michael Baden, and he volunteered his time. I was already in Chicago covering the case, and accompanied Dr. Baden on every endeavor while he was in town. I asked permission of the family to be in the room with Dr. Baden while the autopsy was performed, and they agreed. I agreed with the Savio family that I would only film Dr. Baden, and no images of the body would ever be filmed or aired. The family knew Dr. Baden would be reporting his findings, whichever way they concluded. During the autopsy, which lasted approximately 3 hours, I took extensive notes and shot video.

Watts states that he did not help move Kathleen Savio’s remains.

I never had any physical contact with the body of Kathleen Savio, nor participated in “performing” the autopsy in any way. There were a least 6 Illinois State Police troopers in the room at any given time, and the entire experience was handled with the utmost respect to the Savio family, and most importantly to Kathleen.

There is no magic wizard behind the FOX News curtain, pulling strings to influence the findings by one of the country’s finest Forensic Pathologists. In conclusion, if Drew Peterson’s defense attorney is basing his case on the fact that I was in the autopsy room of a woman his client likely murdered, I would suggest he size Peterson up for a few more of those fancy orange jumpsuits he seems to like so much.

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Drew Peterson Hearsay Hearings – Day 18: Michael Baden testifies


The last witness expected to testify today is Dr. Michael Baden, who was hired by Kathleen Savio’s family to conduct an independent autopsy.  He is the State’s rebuttal witness in response to Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen’s testimony, in which he concluded Kathleen’s death was an accident.

After his testimony, both sides are to give closing arguments.

Updates will be posted throughout the day in the comments section.

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Drew Peterson Hearsay Hearings: Day 17 – Walter Martineck and pathologist testify for defense


Continue reading

Drew Peterson Hearsay Proceedings to Conclude

Hearing: 68 down, 1 to go
February 16, 2010–By JOE HOSEY

JOLIET —  Drew Peterson seemed to love the limelight in the year and a half between his fourth wife’s disappearance in late 2007 and his arrest in May for allegedly murdering wife No. 3.

In custody, Peterson languished alone in a jail cell, effectively cut off from the public by a judicial order limiting his calls to an approved list of his friends, family and attorneys.

That abruptly changed Jan. 19, when a parade of witnesses took the stand to talk about Peterson. They recalled, among other sordid stories and accusations, how his last two wives lived in fear that he might kill them and make their deaths appear accidental, how he tried hiring a co-worker to do away with his third wife and of course, how he is considered by nearly everyone who knows him to be an inveterate “jokester.”

While “jokester” was about the best thing any of the 68 men and women called into court had to say about Peterson, the former Bolingbrook cop and serial marrier at least had the chance to grab the spotlight for himself once again.

This most recent star turn by Peterson is expected to end Wednesday with the conclusion of the 17-day hearing to determine what hearsay evidence will be allowed at Peterson’s upcoming murder trial. Peterson’s attorneys will supposedly call a single witness to testify before facing off with prosecutors in closing arguments.

Peterson is charged with murdering Kathleen Savio, his third wife and the mother of two of his six children. Savio turned up drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. State police investigators quickly decided her death was an accident and closed the case.

State police reopened their investigation when Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in October 2007. She remains missing and the state police believe Peterson may have had a hand in killing her, but have not charged him with harming her.

As part of the hearsay hearing, prosecutors are trying to prove Peterson killed Stacy to keep her from testifying against him at his murder trial.

Read story at Bolingbrook Sun

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Kathleen Savio was a kind, fun-loving person

Letter to the Editor

Published: 2/15/2010 12:09 AM

Last summer I saw someone interview Drew Peterson on television. During the interview, Peterson stated that Kathy Savio was a “hellcat.” I once dated Kathy Savio. We went to the same high school in Hillside. I do not ever remember her being a “hellcat.” She was a beautiful, fun-loving person. She enjoyed being around people. She was energetic, kind and loved attention. Everyone liked being around her. Maybe she turned into a “hellcat” because she found herself running for her very life. How many times did she contact the Bolingbrook Police Department screaming for help? Was it at least 14 times? Someone correct me if I’m wrong. Kathy received no help. Again, correct me if I’m wrong. Peterson, in shackles, looked as if it was funny when he was being escorted to jail. Everyone who was watching saw that dopey look on his face as he boasted about having three square meals a day. What person in his right mind would have a stupid-looking grin on his face when going to jail, arrested on suspicion of murder? I can’t find anyone who believes any words he has spoken. Personally, I think he is a gutless coward. Come Judgment Day, the Lord Jesus will avenge Kathleen’s death. Whoever murdered her, whoever the spineless jellyfish is will be punished for all eternity. And then there’s Peterson, who constantly feeds on negative attention with the media. Hang it up, dude, nobody believes you.

Scott Karel, Elgin

Read at Daily Herald

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Drew Peterson Hearsay Hearings Resume 2/17

A recap of some of the points that were discussed during testimony in the Drew Peterson hearsay proceedings.  In the meantime, there will be a week delay before the defense is expected to present their witnesses, reported to be anywhere from twenty down to one, and then closing arguments.

***************

 

State police investigator says no evidence gathered at Savio death scene

Illinois trooper describes Drew Peterson investigation

Kathleen Savio kept knife under bed for protection from Drew: testimony

Savio Was Murdered: Pathologist; Peterson’s ex-wife didn’t die in fall

Former prosecutor: Never got Kathleen Savio letter

Savio’s doctor testifies at Drew Peterson hearing;  nothing in Savio’s medical records that indicated she was prone to falling

Sister: Drew Peterson’s 4th wife feared for life

Savio’s beau says he immediately suspected her ex

Savio’s Attorney testifies in Drew Peterson hearing

Witness says he was asked to kill Drew Peterson’s third wife

Peterson’s 2nd wife says he threatened to kill her  

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Drew Peterson Hearsay Hearings – Day 16

Ex-Ill. cop’s hearing feels like real murder trial

By DON BABWIN (AP)

JOLIET, Ill. — Family members, investigators, clergy and even a psychic have spent weeks testifying in a northern Illinois courtroom — and Drew Peterson’s murder trial hasn’t even started.

Initially billed as a preliminary step in the case, an extraordinary hearing to determine what hearsay, or second-hand, evidence jurors will be allowed to hear during Peterson’s trial in his third wife’s death has turned into a sort of legal dress rehearsal.

The testimony has exposed serious flaws in the police investigation of Kathleen Savio’s death, Peterson’s deteriorating relationship with his missing fourth wife and perhaps most important: a possible motive.

But none of it may matter if the judge doesn’t allow at least some of the witnesses to testify during the real thing.

“If they don’t get the hearsay stuff in, then they don’t have a shot at this case,” said Terry Sullivan, a Chicago attorney and former prosecutor.

Peterson, a brazen former police sergeant, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Savio’s death. He is the only named suspect in the October 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, but has not been charged in that case. It was after she went missing that investigators exhumed Savio’s body and determined her death was a homicide.

More than 60 prosecution witnesses have testified during the past 3 1/2 weeks. Defense attorneys plan to call about 20 witnesses to contradict statements made by people who said the two women feared Peterson.

“As long as they’re there, it would be tough not to put in evidence that would contradict” the prosecution, said Mark Geragos, a defense attorney who is not involved in the Peterson case but has represented many high-profile clients — including Scott Peterson, the California man convicted of killing his pregnant wife, Laci.

The hearing is the result of a new Illinois law that allows a judge to admit hearsay evidence — statements not based on a witness’ direct knowledge — if prosecutors can prove a defendant may have killed a witness in order to prevent him or her from testifying. The law was so closely linked to the Peterson case that some have dubbed it “Drew’s law.” Continue reading

Drew Peterson Hearsay Hearings – Day 15: Would-be hitman, accountant, and Peterson’s second wife testify

Dozens More Witnesses Set to Testify at Drew Hearing
Defense will call 20 witnesses later this week

The parade of witnesses who have been telling a Joliet judge about Drew Peterson’s murderous intentions keeps on coming.

Attorneys say more than two dozen witnesses are yet to be called in the hearing to determine what hearsay evidence will be allowed when Drew Peterson stands trial in the 2004 slaying of his third wife Kathleen Savio.

Add that to the nearly 60 witnesses who have been called already and the Joliet court is in store for a gore overload.

A spokesman for the Will County States attorney said the tales should be done by Wednesday.

The Drama of Drew

Defense attorneys say they expect to call 20 witnesses of their own, meaning the hearing is expected to go into next week.

Read the story at NBC Chicago

As usual, updates will be posted in the comments section throughout the day.

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>

Drew Peterson Hearsay Hearings – Day 14: Divorce lawyer testifies

Hearings in the Drew Peterson murder case continued today.

Attorney Harry C. Smith, one-time divorce attorney for Kathleen Savio; also contacted by Stacy Peterson shortly before her disappearance, took the stand today.

Smith testified that Kathleen asked him to go to police in the event that she died and to tell them that Drew had killed her. He stated that he did contact them after her death but the person he talked to “was not prepared for that kind of conversation”.

He also said that shortly before Stacy went missing, she met with him and asked, “Can we get more money out of Drew if we threatened to tell police how he killed Kathy?”

Drew Peterson’s one-time friend, Ric Mims also testified.

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. If you spot a rule violation, send an e-mail to petersonstory@gmail.com.~ Line and paragraph breaks are automatic in comments. The following HTML tags are allowed: <a href=""> <abbr> <acronym> <b> <blockquote> <cite> <pre> <em> <i> <q> <strike> <strong>