Jury has been sent home for the weekend.
Judge Burmila hearing arguments on whether jury will hear hitman allegation (witness Jeffrey Pachter).
Prosecutor Koch says that he believes the State has now complied with all requirements pertaining to this witness.
Judge: “What can I rely on other than your late notice? There has to be something more than that. To allow for this late filing.”
Judge: “I already made a finding that this is a bad act.”
Judge said law is clear that prosecution error is not enough to admit the hitman testimony now, but still hasn’t ruled.
Judge allows the possibility of the hitman testimony based on the prosecution’s misunderstanding of the law.
Attorneys and prosecutors now having a hearing on whether Jeffrey Pachter’s testimony can be admitted as a prior bad act.
No decision yet on hitman testimony motion.
Proceedings done for the weekend. Resume Tuesday.
Court back in session.
State calls Jennifer Schoon.
She was Steve Peterson’s girlfriend and lived with family for nearly two years. She ID’s Drew Peterson in the courtroom.
Schoon says Drew told her that Savio had drowned in the bathtub, hit her head. Water had drained because of a leak in the tub.
Drew Peterson told her “there were anti-depressants on the counter” when Savio’s body was found.
Did he indicate she had possibly overdosed on anti-depressants? “Yes, that she had possibly taken them.”
Prosecution done with first round of questions for Schoon.
Brodsky does cross-examination.
He’s asking about living arrangements. Schoon says she lived in the Peterson home from about June 2003 to March of 2005.
She says that Drew tried to return the sons to Kathy on the evening of Feb. 29, but then brought them back. There were phone calls made to Savio but she doesn’t know how many.
Schoon says she can’t “recall” hearing washer/dryer. Brodsky pointing out her previous testimony from Feb. 3, 2010 that says otherwise.
She says she could sometimes hear people in the kitchen above.
Schoon says Drew told her that Savio had a drug overdose, agrees that it was only his personal opinion.
Brodsky done with cross. Schoon off the witness stand. Jury exiting
Trial starts up again with Joseph Steadman, an insurance adjuster who handled a past Savio claim
Steadman would create memos soon after getting a phone call from client. He’s shown one, says it was first time he’d spoken to Drew.
Witness was handling claim and asked Drew Peterson what Savio had died from. He said her death was drug-related and she had been found dead in her bathtub. Call was 3/15/04.
advised me that he is a Bolingbrook IL police officer, and he was working the night of her death and was the first person on the scene.
“Drew Peterson advised me that he is a Bolingbrook IL police officer, and he was working the night of her death and was the first person on the scene.”
Steadman asked “Who was first to mention murder?” Defense objects. Sustained.
Drew Peterson said he was not allowed to investigate her death…he is her ex husband, and if she was murdered he would be one of the suspects.
Joel Brodsky’s cross-examination begins
Steadman says Anna Doman was 1st person to call to make claim on policy.
Brodsky: Did Drew Peterson say Savio drowned? Steadman: “I believe he said she drowned.”
Drew was helpful to Steadman and when he called him later on, he told him the case was under investigation and gave him the names of ISP officers, Collins and Falat.
End of cross-examination and no re-direct. Brief recess.
Trial is back. Greenberg arguing Rossetto testimony is “unreliable.’
Prosecutor Koch trying to explain problem to judge. Burmila says “Stop. I’m not asking you to spin it.”
Glasgow says whole prosecution team has been sick, including one with a high fever.
Glasgow blames the date problem on “Scribner error”.
Judge is clearly irritated by prosecutors. Defense atty Greenberg “I don’t think the jury should hear that evidence at all”
Glasgow again points out Stacy’s pastor Schori backs up Rossetto story — even though they don’t know each other.
Judge finds state knew Rossetto gave false info during pre-trial hearing and did not tell previous judge.
Burmila: “Within a one-hour period today, the date changed twice.”
Judge bans Rossetto’s testimony because it’s unreliable, partly because of state’s mistakes.
Prosecution is asked to call next witness.
State calls Scott Rossetto, a friend of Stacy Peterson’s.
Rossetto tells Glasgow that he is 40, currently resides in Germany as a Captain in the Army. Says he met Stacy Cales in 2001.
Rossetto met her through his identical twin brother, Keith, who was dating her at the time.
In October 2007 he received a phone call from Stacy. “Her last name had become Peterson.”
In October 2007 he had a meal with Stacy at a restaurant. Then about two weeks later on Oct. 25 they met again at his house.
There’s an issue with the date that Rossetto and Stacy met. Prosecution told defense Rossetto and Stacy Peterson met on the 22nd of October. But Rossetto says it was the 25th.
Pros John Conner apparently told Greenberg the talk happened on 10/22. Judge says they’ll have to call Conner as a witness to impeach.
Judge is clearly getting irritated again — even said Conner would be out of the case if he’s put on the stand.
Glasgow: “This all has to do with a date. Not the content.”
Greenberg: They told us before lunch that Rosetto met with SP the 22nd; all of a sudden, he’s on the stand and he’s saying it’s the 25th.
Greenberg asks if the prosecution can call a different witness at this time. Judge thinks that would be unfair.
Glasgow says they could call Jennifer Schoon. “Judge: “We’ll take a minute here, to see if we can sort this out.” The judge leaves the bench, and the trial is in a brief recess.
Judge is unhappy with prosecutors. Left the bench shaking his head incredulously.
Atty Greenberg on the upcoming testimony of Scott Rossetto: “This is so unreliable that I don’t think it can pass the due process analysis.”
Glasgow says Rossetto’s story is nearly identical to testimony from Stacy’s pastor, Neil Schori.
Greenberg warning about going into Rossetto text messages: “They’re quite graphic.”
Burmila is going to allow Stacy Peterson friend Scott Rossetto to testify. Says defense can vigorously cross-examine.
Greenberg asks how to handle Rossetto coming forward to police in 2007 — after Stacy disappears.
Burmila: “I’m assuming the state has admonished their witness not to testify to that in front of the jury.”
Brodsky argues against this testimony, claiming that it’s a violation of marital privilege.
Rosetto can say that Stacy Peterson claimed that Drew ordered her to be the alibi on weekend Kathleen died.
Trial in recess until 1:15.
Re-direct by prosecutor Connor
“Absolutely no indication” Savio had multiple sclerosis, says Neri.
Neri never noted any intolerance for the drugs he prescribed Savio, “She just got better every time.”
Neri again describing progress Savio made while she was under his care. “She would not have changed significantly after leaving me.”
Dr. Neri: My feeling is she would not have changed suddenly after leaving me and become a different patient; people are true to themselves.
Savio had heart murmur, palpitations, says Neri upon questioning from defense. He’s not a cardiologist, but read previous docs’ reports.
Defense Attorney Greenberg begins his recross with Dr. Neri
Greenberg asks about MS and deaths in hot bathtubs.
Neri testimony ends.
Attorneys now argue about next witness Scott Rossetto.
Brodsky asking judge to warn people in the gallery not to react to testimony — no more laughing or gasping.
Judge says he will ask people who make a commotion to be removed.
Defense trying to prevent Stacy Peterson’s friend Scott Rosetto from testifying, saying he changed his story regarding what Stacy said about Drew Peterson’s sleeves – wet v. dry.
They’re still at it. No jury or Neri in the courtroom.
Judge Burmila not allowing Neri to testify as “expert” witness in regards to cervical vertigo, only as Savio’s treating physician.
Jury back in courtroom.
Savio had elevated levels of adrenaline, causing muscles to tighten. Neri is describing diagram being shown to jurors.
Dr. Neri: “She made a lot of progress (with the Zoloft and sleeping aid). The muscles started to loosen..The neck tension was improved..Everything was improved”
Defense starts cross-examination.
Darryl Goldberg begins his cross-examination of Dr. Neri: When was the last time that you saw Miss Savio? Neri: “February 6 of 2002.”
Neri concedes he has no idea of Savio’s medical condition at the time of her death, two years after he last saw her.
Neri says “he’s not sure” when defense asks about a spill Savio took down the stairs in Oct. 1999.
Goldberg is asking about Savio changing doses w/o doctor’s guidance. Neri says it’s commonly done.
In Lorazepam, one of the side effects is drowsiness? “That’s the point.”
And dizziness? “If you take it in the daytime, yes.”
Savio was careful when taking medications. Sidebar
Goldberg: Would studying or a lover’s quarrel stress Savio out? Neri: “Yes.”
Defense asks Neri to confirm that when Savio sought him out (in 1999) that she had numbness, was dizzy and unsteady, family history of diabetes and high cholesterol, was slightly depressed, and sleeping horribly. Neri answers “yes” to all.
Atty Goldberg points out it wasn’t good for Savio to drink alcohol with Zoloft. “What is alcohol good to take with?” Neri asks.
Savio told another doctor she would “occasionally drop objects” and be clumsy.
Goldberg: Predisposition to fall is not a medical condition? “Correct.” And someone who’s in a bathtub without an anti-slip mechanism could just slip and fall? “Could.”
Court is in session
Testimony underway with Dr. Gene Neri, Savio’s doctor from 1999-2002. He treated her for cervical vertigo.
Under direct examination by ASA Conner, Neri says that cervical vertigo is a reaction to stress. A tightening of the neck muscles.
Kathleen was very sleep deprived and under a lot of stress.
Neri prescribed Lorazepam to #Savio to help her sleep.
Neri says although Savio felt unsteady, her condition would not cause her to slip, fall. To the contrary, it would make her more careful.
Sidebar and brief recess.
The judge returns to the bench, jury is not present. Greenberg is questioning Dr. Neri’s qualification as an expert.
Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. Yesterday Forensic pathologist, Dr. Larry Blum was back on the stand. He testified that based on Dr. Mitchell’s autopsy report as well as his own done in 2007, and the investigative reports and photos as well as a visit to the Savio home, that Kathleen Savio’s death was the result of a homicide. He was cross-examined by a feisty Ralph Meczyk prompting objections and verbal exchanges between himself and James Glasgow.
After the jury left for the day attorneys argued about evidence. Judge Burmila decided that Stacy Peterson’s Uncle, Kyle Toutges would not be able to testify that Drew Peterson said “let them prove it” when confronted with suspicions about his involvement in Kathleen’s death. The judge also ruled that the prosecution would not be able to ask every witness if they placed the blue towel that is seen on Savio’s tub in evidence photos. He also decided that testimony regarding the man who alleges he was offered $25k in exchange for arranging a hit on Savio, might be admissible if the prosecution could prove its relevance.
As always, I’ll have my eyes and ears open and will be posting updates. Check back throughout the day for the latest news and don’t forget to check the comments thread.