Three of Drew Peterson’s old attorneys return to his defense – Joel Brodsky calls them a pathological narcissist, an alcoholic, and a novice

The Chicago Tribune reports that attorneys Steve Greenberg, John Heiderscheidt and David Peilet have been rehired to try to overturn Drew Peterson’s murder conviction for the killing of his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio.

The three lawyers turned his appellate case over to the state defender’s office last March but Peterson has now decided he wants the help of his old team. attorney Steve Greenberg says,

After the case was over, he needed to think about what he wanted to do. We needed to let things calm down before making those decisions.

The appeal, which is expected to be filed within the next 90 days, will be based on the admission of hearsay, the admission of testimony by Stacy Peterson’s pastor, a jury pool left in limbo for over two years and the ineffective counsel of Peterson’s lead attorney, Joel Brodsky. Brodsky responded to the news last night in an acerbic Tweet:

joel-comment

The Tribune reports that Peterson is biding his time at Menard Correctional Center, in protective custody. He has no cellmate and no job there. He gets five hours of recreation time each week and is allowed to see visitors twice a month.

Since his sentencing, Peterson’s yearly police pension of almost $80k has been challenged by Bolingbrook Village officials. It may take months before the outside attorney hired by the pension board makes a recommendation.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune

Four years since Drew Peterson’s arrest for murder. What has changed?

another new mugLast Tuesday marked four years since Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. So, what has transpired since then?

Trial Status

Today: Jury selection for Drew Peterson’s trial began on July 23, 2012. Opening statements began on July 31st and the first witness was also called that day. Testimony continued through August 30. Closing arguments were heard on September 4 and jury deliberations began. On September 6, after two days and 14 hours of deliberations, the jury found Drew Peterson guilty in the first degree of murdering Kathleen Savio. On February 21st Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison, minus the four years he spent in jail awaiting trial. Peterson was moved from the Will County Adult Detention Center, where he had been living since his arrest, to Stateville Prison and then was transferred shortly thereafter to Pontiac Prison and then Menard Correctional Facility. The City of Bolingbrook is reviewing the status of Peterson’s $79,000/year pension to see if it can be revoked.

Legal Representation

Today: Immediately after Peterson’s murder conviction, his defense team began to publicly point fingers and blame each other for losing the case. Paving the way for an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel, Joel Brodsky first got in Drew’s ear and was able to get Steven Greenberg fired from the defense team. But by October, Greenberg had spoken to Drew and was back on the team. Soon after, a team of three attorneys who had not represented Peterson in the murder trial filed a motion of ineffective assistance against Joel Brodsky. After much public and private name calling, letter writing, and motion filingJoel Brodsky withdrew from Peterson’s defense. He then filed a defamation suit against Steve Greenberg, two media outlets and specific reporters. Attorney David Peilet of Clarendon Hills and John Heiderscheidt joined the defense team. At a post-sentencing hearing, Judge Edward Burmila said that he was “shocked” at comments Brodsky had made on TV regarding his representation of Drew Peterson and had a transcript of the hearing sent to the ARDC. In March of 2013, the rest of Peterson’s defense team announced that they were stepping aside and turning over the appellate phase of Peterson’s defense to the state public defender’s office.

One year ago: In September, Attorney Walter Maksym was asked to “step aside” from the legal team after he was criticized by the federal appeals court for filing “unintelligible” court papers that were “riddled with errors”. As the case neared trial, it was announced that Atty Joe Lopez would be presenting closing arguments.

Two years ago: After months of rumors of arguing and even a physical incident, Reem Odeh left the partnership and withdrew from the Peterson defense team in September 2010. In February of 2011, Lisa Lopez, wife of Joe Lopez, assisted with the oral arguments regarding the hearsay decision before the Appellate court, which were presented by Steven Greenberg.

Three years ago: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of 2010, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. then made up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.

Four years ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.

Media Exposure

Today: Drew Peterson was able to address the court and the public with a statement at his sentencing hearing. Rather than expressing remorse, he shouted out “I did not kill Kathleen” and then issued a long self-pitying rant.

One year ago: The Sun-Times continued to shill for Peterson. On April 17 they featured a sympathetic story and cover photo of Drew Peterson after the state won their appeal to get more evidence admitted to his trial for murder.

Two years ago: Despite the gag order prohibiting interviews, Peterson spent 2011 writing letters and statements that were provided to the media, in particular to gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, Michael Sneed.

Three years ago: Drew was prohibited from giving interviews to the press.

Four years ago: 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.

Judges

Today: Judge Burmila presided over Peterson’s trial and sentencing.

One year ago: On May 4, 2012, Judge Edward Burmilla was assigned to the case.

Two years ago: Judge Stephen White retired in October 2010.

Three years ago: Judge Stephen White presided over the case.

Four years 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.

Hearsay Evidence

Today: The defense continued to file motions to bar as  much of the hearsay evidence as possible leading up to Peterson’s trial. They were also able to challenge each piece of hearsay evidence as it was introduced at trial and were able to keep out more in that way. At trial Kathleen Savio’s sisters and some friends were allowed to testify to statements she had made to them about fearing Drew Peterson would kill her. Pastor Neil Schori was only allowed to testify to what Stacy had told him alone. The discussions he had with Drew and Stacy in their home were deemed inadmissible. Scott Rossetto’s testimony was also deemed unreliable after the prosecution made some errors with the dates and he didn’t get to take the stand. Although the defense had fought to keep out the testimony of Attorney Harry Smith, whom Stacy Peterson had called with questions about a possible divorce, eventually it was Joel Brodsky who called him to the stand in an attempt to impeach Stacy’s words to Neil Schori. Smith testified that Stacy had asked if she could get more money out of Drew if she threatened to tell “how” he had killed Kathleen Savio. Many believe this to be the evidence that cinched the conviction. A final breakdown of witnesses shows that more than 85% of the evidence presented at Drew Peterson’s trial was physical, forensic and circumstantial. Less than 15% was hearsay. Although media reports were quick to cite “Drew’s Law” as being a factor in the introduction of hearsay to Peterson’s trial, those reports were erroneous as the state had earlier asked the appellate court to reconsider Judge White’s hearsay rulings under the common law rules of forfeiture and they agreed.

One year ago: After the appellate court did not reconsider the barred hearsay statements due to a missed deadline, the State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court which decided that the appellate court should consider the evidence on its merits. In April the appellate court reversed Judge White’s decision and decided that the hearsay statements were reliable and admissible in court. Peterson’s defense announced that they would not appeal and wanted instead to go to trial.

Two years ago: The judge’s decision regarding the hearsay statements was leaked in July 2010, revealing that possibly fewer than five of the 15 statements being considered were to be allowed. This decision was appealed by the prosecution. During February oral arguments before the appellate justices, States Attorney Jim Glasgow was asked what he now wanted to “hang” his argument on. Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence (rather than the so-called “Hearsay Law”).

Three years ago: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional. Hearsay evidence and witnesses were heard during hearings in January 2010.

Four years ago: The Hearsay Statue (Drew;s Law) was passed into legislation November, 2008

Peterson Family

Today: In November 2007, a Federal judge threw out Stephen Peterson’s lawsuit against the Village of Oakbrook and Thomas Sheahan. Peterson then went back to Illinois Circuit court to try to get back his job, but lost that complaint in March of 2013.
Kathleen Savio’s two sons, Thomas and Kristopher are in college. Thomas Peterson testified on his father’s behalf towards the end of his trial.

One year ago: Stephen Peterson was appealing his dismissal and filed a Federal lawsuit in July 2011.

Two years ago: In August 2009, Stephen Peterson was suspended for accepting and hiding weapons for his father, shortly after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In February 2010, Peterson was fired from Oak Brook Police Force and appealed his dismissal.  Thomas Peterson wrote a letter and made a filing asking to be removed from the Savio family’s civil suit against Drew Peterson. This has not been granted yet. Tom Peterson was chosen as valedictorian of his graduating class.

Four years ago: Drew’s four youngest children were left in the care of their step-brother, Oak Brook Police Officer, Stephen Peterson.

Savio Family

Today: Sue Savio has continued to make appearances to speak out about her sister and against domestic violence. Anna Savio Doman and Henry Savio are still pursuing a wrongful death suit against Drew Peterson.

Cales Family

Today: Cassandra Cales continues to search for her sister.

Drew’s Love Life

Today: Drew Peterson continues to enjoy correspondence with numerous pen pals.

One year ago: Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reported that Peterson had over 20 pen pals (male and female), at least four of whom contributed to his funds at the commissary so that he could enjoy snacks while he awaited trial.

Two years ago: In August 2010 we heard that Christina Raines was engaged to a new man. In February 2011 we obtained a photo of Chrissy with her fiancé. In April 2011, an old acquaintance of Drew’s, Diana Grandel, released some letters from Drew in which he made sexual comments to her and offered Stacy’s clothing to her.

Three years ago: 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”

Four years 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 belongings from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.

Stunts

Today: All quiet on the part of Drew Peterson. His legal team seems to have picked up the torch as far as media shenanigans. Restaurateur Jeff Ruby attended Drew Peterson’s trial and was charged with contempt when he reportedly mouthed “Fuck you” at Peterson. Ruby went on to offer a $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Stacy Peterson’s remains.

One year ago: Besides frequent mundane snippets in the gossip columns about Peterson’s life in prison, all has been quiet.

Two years ago: While Drew’s bids for attention were mostly curtailed due to his detention, his lawyer and PR people continued to pepper the news with updates and letters from him detailing everything from his life in jail to his opinions about the legal decisions regarding his children. Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, was the subject of news stories and wrote his own letters to the press in support of his father.

Three years ago: Soon after Drew’s arrest he attempted to have his motorcycle auctioned off on eBay. He was asking for $50,000 and offered to apply a decal with his signature on the bike. eBay removed the auction for violation of its “murderabilia” rules.

Four years ago: At the time 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.

Stacy Peterson

Today: Areas of Hammel Woods in Shorewood were searched for five days in November 2012, utilizing the FBI and cadaver dogs. Some officials stated that it was a training mission, while others told the press that they were indeed looking for the remains of Stacy Peterson. Nothing was found.

One year ago: Airings of the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” brought about some new tips and offers of assistance in regards to the search for Stacy Peterson.

Two years ago: In August 2010, based on a tip, searches for Stacy’s remains took place near Peoria. No evidence was found.

Three years ago: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her.

Four years ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.

Joel Brodsky turns over Drew Peterson financial documents

Joel Brodsky

Joel Brodsky

Today in court Joel Brodsky turned over some of the documents requested by his former co-counsel.

Drew Peterson’s current defense team filed a motion for a new trial based partly on claims that Joel Brodsky provided their client with an ineffective assistance of counsel and that his desire for money and fame created a conflict of interest in the defense of Drew Peterson who was convicted of murder and awaits sentencing.

Last week they asked for documentation of Joel Brodsky’s financial arrangements with Drew Peterson.

Brodsky fought the subpoena claiming that it violated attorney-client privilege and filed a motion to quash it. Meanwhile Brodsky’s wife, Elizabeth, took to Twitter to say that Joel had nothing to hide and accused attorney Steve Greenberg of filing an unnecessary subpoena in order to create a “three ring circle (circus).”

ellie-greenberg-again

However, Drew Peterson, seemingly giving up all allegiance to his one-time friend and lawyer, signed a letter clearing the way for Brodsky to produce the requested documentation.

Although Brodsky did turn over some documentation at today’s hearing, there are still some records outstanding. Steve Greenberg says:

“There’s still more records. Hopefully we’ll get them and that will be that.”

Another status hearing date is set for next Wednesday.

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Joel Brodsky fights subpoena

Today in court Joel Brodsky filed a motion to “quash” a “subpoena duces tecum”. Such a subpoena is a writ issued by a court at the request of one of the parties to a suit; it requires a witness to bring to court or to a deposition any relevant documents under the witness’ control.

Drew Peterson's most recent mug shot

Drew Peterson’s most recent mug shot

Apparently, Mr. Brodsky does not want to hand over his documents concerning his financial arrangements with his former client, Drew Peterson. If his motion is successful he could be allowed to merely bring his records to court with him when he appears (rather than hand them over to the prosecution), or his former co-counsel could be asked to obtain the information that they need by some different means.

A claim of ineffective assistance of counsel has been made in a motion filed against Joel Brodsky by Drew Peterson’s attorney, Steve Greenberg. Greenberg claims that Brodsky misrepresented his experience to Mr. Peterson, that his desire for publicity was a conflict of interest in his representation of his client and that he made a legal error when he called to the stand a witness who put Drew Peterson at the scene of Kathleen Savio’s death.

J.P. Morgan Chase was also subpoenaed for records.

The next status hearing is scheduled for February first.

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Drew Peterson court date sets next hearing/sentencing for February 19, 20

Attorneys in the Drew Peterson case are scheduled to be in court at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 10, 2013 before Judge Edward Burmila in Courtroom 403. The attorneys will ask Judge Burmila to schedule a date for a hearing to argue post-trial motions. Beyond setting that court date, no other legal issues are scheduled to be argued on Thursday.

Source: Will County Sheriff’s Department

UPDATE 1/10/12: The state has filed a response to the defense’s post-verdict motion for a new trial based on, among other things, claims of ineffective assistance by attorney Joel Brodsky. A hearing for motions is set for February 19. A sentencing hearing and the sentencing will come after that (barring the event of an actual new trial).

Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky, may need to take the stand to defend himself while Steven Greenberg and Joe Lopez may be called as witnesses. Legal experts have stated that they doubt a bid for a new trial will be successful.

Drew Peterson’s former wife, Vicki Connolly, and his eldest son, Eric Peterson have been subpoenaed by the state to testify at the sentencing hearing. The both have previously testified before the grand jury and at a pre-trial hearing.

Kathleen Savio’s sister, Sue Savio, says that she has her victim impact statement ready to be read.

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Drew Peterson in court today: New claims of ineffective assistance

Drew Peterson was back in court this morning for motions to overturn his conviction and get a new trial.

Attorneys Steve Greenberg and David Peilet will file a motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel by Peterson’s long-time lead attorney, Joel Brodsky, who withdrew from his defense last month.

After his withdrawal Joel Brodsky gave numerous interviews in which he defended his defense of Peterson and stated that he was stepping down to put an end to the friction between himself and his co-counsel:

There’s no errors. I did not do anything ineffective. But what we have here is a situation where unfounded allegations that have been made are interfering with the movement of this case.

Now Brodsky says:

The guy is looking at first-degree murder and my feeling is that if Drew Peterson has 101 arguments to make I don’t want him to be able to make 100 arguments. I don’t want anybody to ever say that I impeded him in any way.”

Judge Edward Burmila is giving the defense until December 14 to file their pre-sentencing motions and the state will have until January 9 to file its responses to those motions.

This pushes Drew Peterson’s sentencing date further into 2013, but no date has been decided upon yet.

Last month Attorneys John Carroll and Michelle Gonzalez also filed a motion requesting a new trial based on claims of ineffective assistance of counsel by Joel Brodsky. Drew Peterson told Judge Burmilla in open court that he did not authorize the motion so it was denied.

Prior motion filed October 9. 2012:

Joel Brodsky’s response. Filed October 11, 2012:

Attorney Steven Greenberg’s open letter to Joel Brodsky dated September 24, 2012:

Read more at ABC7
Read more at WGN
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Joel Brodsky and Steve Greenberg both to stay on Drew Peterson defense team. Sentencing pushed to 2013

UPDATE 10:16:

Attorney Joe Lopez reports that the ineffective assistance motion will not be heard today.

UPDATE 11:06:

Craig Wall tweets: “Brodsky seemed downcast in courtroom. Now meeting with Peterson in back room. No telling what will happen until its on the record in court”

Joe Hosey tweets: “…Michelle Gonzalez, met with Drew Peterson in a back room. Gonzalez says she expects Peterson to dump Brodsky.”

UPDATE 11:18:

Craig Wall tweets: “Joel Brodsky- paraphrasing the Blues Brothers movie- says the band is back together again. So maybe he convinced Peterson to keep him. Until the attorney situation for Drew Peterson is officially on the record in court we will just have to wait. Joe Lopez following the Blues Brother theme says ‘We are on a mission from Drew’. He says Gonzalez and Carroll will not be on the case. Lopez says Brodsky will remain lead counsel for Drew Peterson. Still waiting for court to start. Brodsky more chipper in hallway.”

UPDATE 11:35:

NBC Chicago reports: “Attorney Darryl Goldberg, who quit Peterson’s legal team during the trial, told NBC 5′s Charlie Wojciechowski that four sheriff’s deputies were guarding the room where Peterson is waiting for the hearing in order to keep Brodsky out.” (Have to assume this was prior to Brodsky’s discussion with Peterson in said back room.)

UPDATE 12:16:

Joe Hosey tweets: ” long story short: Carroll and Gonzalez out, Greenberg and Brodsky in. Judge verbally slapped around Brodsky pretty good.”

Craig wall tweets: “Judge Edward Burmila ripped Brodsky for motion asking him to rule ‘quietly and without fanfare’.”

UPDATE 12:42:

Steve Greenberg has withdrawn his motion to withdraw from the defense. Sentencing now scheduled for January 10, 2013

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Yesterday Drew Peterson spent fifteen minutes alone with the body of his deceased mother who passed away on Wednesday. It was the first time in three years that he had ventured outside the confines of jail and courthouse.

This morning he appears in court to address before Judge Stephen Burmilla two motions which address his legal representation. Attorneys John Paul Carroll and Michelle Gonzalez have filed a motion for a new trial based on ineffective counsel by Peterson’s lead attorney, Joel Brodsky. Gonzalez says that Peterson hired them to do this, and Carroll states that Drew told him “Go ahead” with the motion.

Yesterday, Joel Brodsky distributed his own motion alleging that Drew Peterson never gave Carroll and Gonzalez legal authority to challenge his effectiveness. His motion also asked that they be charged with contempt and that a grand jury and special prosecutor be called to investigate leaks of impounded documents.

Does Drew Peterson really want to boot Brodsky, or is this motion just something he wanted filed in case his appeals fail? in any case, the motion details some nasty allegations against Joel Brodsky who is not pleased.

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