One year ago, Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Since that day he has resided at the the Will County Adult Detention Facility in Joliet awaiting his trial which is scheduled to begin next month. We’ve continued to follow the case as the year has passed, but what has changed since May 7, 2009?
A year ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.
Today: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of this year, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Presently, attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. make up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.
A year ago: When Drew was arrested, he was preparing to fly out to the Bunny Ranch Brothel in Reno, Nevada, to see if he would be a good fit as head of security there. Drew’s last interview was given over the phone to a WLS radio show host, Eric Mancow Muller, from jail on May 27, 2009. He also gave one other in-jail phone interview on May 15, to Matt Lauer of the Today show.
Today: Drew is presently not allowed to give interviews to the press.
A year ago: Judge Richard Schoenstedt was first assigned to the case; then Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes and finally Judge Stephen White. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney made the new appointments. Judge Daniel J. Rozak set Peterson’s bond.
Today: Judge Stephen White presides over the case but is expected to retire in October of this year.
A year ago: The Act was passed into legislation November, 2008
Today: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional
A year ago: After Peterson’s bail was set at $20 million, the defense filed a motion to reduce it on May 22, 2009.
Today: In June, the Appellate Court denied the petition to reduce Peterson’s $20 million bond.
A year ago: In July 2009, Drew Peterson’s attorneys filed a motion seeking a change of venue for their client.
Today: The request was denied and 240 potential jurors for the murder trial were brought into Will County court and asked to complete questionnaires
In January 2010, Judge White held a series of hearings to help him decide which, if any, of fifteen hearsay statements would be allowed in the upcoming trial.
The hearings were public and testimony brought out a number of new revelations. Among them:
- A cable worker testified that Peterson solicited him to find someone to kill Kathleen Savio.
- A school friend of Stacy Peterson’s testified that she told him Drew had killed Kathleen Savio.
- A lawyer consulted by Stacy Peterson in the days before her disappearance testified that Stacy told him that she thought her husband was mad at her because he believed she told his son he had killed his ex-wife. She also wondered if she’d be able to extort money from Drew Peterson if she threatened to go to police.
- The lead ISP investigator of Kathleen Savio’s death scene testified that he never considered her death anything other than an accident so he never took any forensic evidence from the scene and never bothered to talk with her family. He admitted he had never investigated a homicide before and said it didn’t occur to him the body may have been staged in the tub.
- An evidence technician testified that he didn’t see bruises on Kathleen Savio’s body, and if he had that they would have been insignificant
- Kathleen Savio’s friends and neighbors who were first to discover her body testified that they thought it was strange that there were no towels, clothes or a bath mat in the bathroom.
- The lead ISP investigator testified that he extended “professional courtesy” to Peterson because of his status as a police officer, and allowed him to sit next to Stacy, while she gave investigators an alibi for where Peterson was at the time of Savio’s death.
- An ISP officer said that he voiced his concerns about the way the interview was handled, the answers that were given by Drew and his wife, and the fact that their testimony seemed scripted, but his objections were ignored.
- Drew’s oldest son testified that he witnessed an altercation between his father and Kathleen Savio during which Drew dragged her by her hair.
- A coworker of Drew’s testified that during the time of Drew and Kathleen’s divorce, Drew told him, “my life would be a lot easier if she were dead or died.”
A year ago: Christina Raines was at the house that Drew and Stacy Peterson shared at the time or his arrest and was also taken into custody. She removed her belonging from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.
Today: In January Raines posted a status update on her Facebook page stating, “I met someone who i fell in love with and very happy with. I think i just about gave up on drew with all his lies i dont even really visit him anymore.” and then, “But his kids i love dearly and still visit with them they are good kids”
A year ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.
Today: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her. Searches continue.
Sources for this recap include the many news stories covering the case this past year as well as our own research and first-hand courtroom observations. Much more happened (allegations of sexual abuse, a biographer citing journalistic privilege to get out of testifying, more motions from the defense which were denied, etc.) but we had to stop somewhere!
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