Attorneys for Drew Peterson, charged with murder in the 2004 drowning death of ex-wife Kathleen Savio, were in court Thursday seeking help as they sift through more than 30,000 pages of investigative reports and hundreds of hours of audio recordings turned over by prosecutors.
Joel Brodsky argued six motions before Judge Stephen White, essentially asking that prosecutors be required to give more details about their theory of how Peterson killed Savio as well as “Cliff’s Notes” versions of the 9,470 investigative reports he has received.
“Are they saying my client held her underwater or knocked her unconscious or hit her over the head with a blunt object?” he said, later adding: “How did he do it? The state certainly has to prove that.”
John Connor, chief of the Will County State’s Attorney’s major crimes unit, argued that all that information was detailed in the reports given to Peterson’s lawyers.
“I’ve never seen a request like this in any homicide case I’ve participated in,” he told the judge.
White denied or continued the motions. He did tell prosecutors to give Peterson’s attorneys an estimated time that Savio was last seen alive as well as an estimated time her body was discovered in the bathtub of her Bolingbrook home.
Prosecutors also agreed to reveal whether any money or other consideration was given to Lenny Wawczak and his wife Paula Stark, former acquaintances of Peterson who Brodsky said in court Thursday wore wires and also videotaped his client.
Brodsky sought the same information about Thomas Morphey, Peterson’s stepbrother, who has said he helped Peterson remove the body of second wife Stacy from the couple’s home in 2007.
Brodsky said prosecutors have provided a list of 127 pieces of physical evidence in Savio’s death, including a Power MacIntosh 7200 computer, and a roughly equal amount of physical evidence in the disappearance of Peterson’s second wife.
Peterson has been named the sole suspect in Stacy’s disappearance, but has not been charged with any crime.
White agreed to enter an order forbidding the state from listening to recorded phone calls between Peterson and his attorneys, something Connor said prosecutors already abstain from.
“If the state is listening in to an attorney-client phone call, they’re in big trouble,” said White, who also said he would allow Peterson’s attorneys to bring their laptops into the Will County jail, where Peterson has been held since his May 7 arrest.
Also, attorneys for JP Morgan Chase, which has been served two subpoenas for financial records related to the case, asked that the subpoenas be quashed. White is expected to take up the issue July 10.
An attorney forwarded calls to a Chase spokeswoman, who declined comment.
In a separate court filing, Country Mutual Insurance Co., the firm that underwrote Peterson’s $500,000 home liability insurance, has asked a judge to find that it is not liable to pay for Peterson’s legal fees or any damages that arise from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against him earlier this year by Savio’s estate.