Drew author not protected
November 26, 2009By JOE HOSEY firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Peterson also could not be reached, but he is being held in the county jail on a $2 million bond while he waits to stand trial for the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. The state police continue to investigate the mystery of the missing Stacy Peterson, a case they called a “potential homicide,” and have yet to bring charges against Drew Peterson or anyone else.
The state’s attorney’s office wants Armstrong to turn over taped interviews with Peterson, which he had previously refused to do. Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for State’s Attorney James Glasgow, declined to comment on the motion filed this week.
Allegations in books
In his book on the Peterson case, which was released in October 2008, Armstrong’s descriptions of some events contradict what members of the media witnessed. He also claims Stacy’s brother, Yelton Cales, “sexually touches (Stacy) several times” in 1990, when Stacy would have been 15 or 16 years old. Armstrong attributes this accusation to Stacy Peterson, but he apparently had never met or spoken with her.
Cales is a convicted sex offender, but he was never charged with abusing Stacy.
Besides the prospect of being forced before a grand jury, Armstrong might also be contending with his publishing house going belly up.
Note: The imbedded links are not part of the original story run by the Bolingborook Sun.
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