Derek Armstrong may have to turn over Drew Peterson tapes

Self-publisher, Derek Armstrong

Drew author not protected
November 26, 2009By JOE HOSEY
JOLIET — Prosecutors want a Canadian publisher who penned a book about Drew Peterson to stop playing reporter.

Derek Armstrong, the operator of Kunati Publishing and the author of the account “Drew Peterson Exposed,” invoked journalistic privilege when the state police contacted him about testifying before a grand jury in November 2008.

But prosecutors filed a motion Tuesday claiming Armstrong was no reporter when he was supposedly “spending hundreds of hours interviewing key players” in the Drew Peterson case.

According to the motion, “Armstrong was not a reporter” since he was not “collecting, writing or editing news for publication” on a full or part-time basis.

In some situations, news reporters are protected from handing some information over to police or the court. That privilege isn’t ironclad and doesn’t extend to all people who write.

Armstrong failed to return calls for comment, as did Peterson’s attorney, Joel Brodsky.

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Strapped for cash, Drew Peterson tries to auction his house.


The Peterson home

Peterson’s house going to auction block?

November 11, 2009

BY MICHAEL SNEED Sun-Times Columnist

Scoopsville: Huh? Sneed hears an attorney for jailed murder suspect Drew Peterson is hoping to rent out/auction off Peterson’s empty Bolingbrook home for broadcast use during his upcoming trial!

“We are thinking it could be an excellent site for a news broadcast during the trial,” said attorney Walter Maksym, who filed a federal suit against JP Morgan Chase bank recently for suspending Peterson’s access to his $220,000 credit line.

“It would be a perfect place for someone like Geraldo Rivera. Don’t you think?” Maksym told Sneed.

Peterson, who is in jail charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, was hoping to use the credit line to post part of his bond, pay his attorneys and hire expert witnesses. The credit line was authorized in 2005 and suspended by the bank in May.

“If he can’t pay for his own defense, the taxpayers could wind up paying for the enormous cost of the defense,” Maksym said. “I’m not handling his murder case. I’m working with his attorney Joel Brodsky, who is vigorously defending him, and we are looking for any way possible to raise money so Peterson won’t be denied a fair trial. The bank severed his credit line because Peterson is being detained for trial, and we believe it violates federal law.”

Auctioneer Leslie Hindman tells Sneed she received a call from Maksym on Tuesday wondering if she might auction off “the use of Peterson’s house as a site for broadcast during the trial.”

Quoth Hindman: “I said, ‘No. I’m not interested in doing such a thing. It would be much too weird.’

The Peterson home, which once housed his missing fourth wife, Stacy, and four children, has been vacant since Peterson was incarcerated in May.

Read Sneed’s column at the Sun-Times
Read the story at NBC Chicago

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Savio inquest juror, Jim Pretto: If we had known…

Jim Pretto told ABC News back in February of 2008 that if they had known all the facts about the case in 2004, he would have called Kathleen Savio’s death a homicide.

There was no evidence at all to point toward it being a murder,” Pretto said. “There was nothing presented at all.” Pretto said that though the jurors on the coroner’s inquest were suspicious, they did not have enough evidence to call Savio’s death anything but an accident.

“We had no other alternative,” he said. “I think more evidence should have been presented, more investigation should have been done at the time.”

We’ve all seen the complete inquest transcript now.  Yes, there was no testimony or evidence presented to the jurors to indicate that foul play might be suspected.  In fact, ISP Officer Herbert Hardy said otherwise.  One panel member (Dennis Pratl) made it personal, and said Drew Peterson was a good guy.   Yet, Jim Pretto wishes they had listened more to Kathleen’s family. The jurors did not hear about Savio asking for a restraining order against Peterson, and they were told by the ISP officer that there were no insurance policies involved. They did not hear about the police being called eighteen times to intervene in their disputes.

Several questions arise about these claims made by Pretto.  Who exactly was responsible for making sure these important issues were presented to the jury panel?  Or, in the alternative, who was responsible for making sure they were not presented to the jury panel?   Oversight or out-of-sight.  Which is it?

At the time of this juror’s interview, Anna Doman said:  “I think we’re closer” to justice. “I just wish it was four years ago.”

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