Andrew Abood and George Lenard speak out about withdrawal from Peterson defense

We emailed attorneys Andrew Abood of Abood Law and and George Lenard and asked them if they wanted to comment on today’s motion to withdraw from the defense team of Drew Peterson. We specifically asked about the mention in Christy Gutowski’s story for the Daily Herald of a suicide defense. This was Mr. Abood’s reply:

Andrew P. Abood

I will assume that your source is Joel Brodsky.

It is inappropriate to disclose attorney client information including privileged information regarding trial strategy. I will not comment on myself, but I will say the George Lenard was extremely well prepared, had deep and thorough understanding of the facts and law and great knowledge of Will County juries as he has have over 150 jury trials. Over 7 times more than Joel Brodsky. He is recognized by many (including Judges and State’s attorneys) in Will County as one of the top defense lawyers in the County. His reputation for integrity and ethics is unmatched.

Any theory George Lenard promoted was based on the facts and law and well reasoned.

One could say that it was a trial lawyers dream to be involved in a case like this, and it was the type of case that was a perfect fit for an attorney with George Lenard’s skills and intellect. Anyone who witnessed the crosses of Pachter, Morphey or Mims witnessed some great and thorough examinations.

More importantly, the disagreements among defense counsel rested more with personalities and less with any particular position or issue related to issues to be fought inside the courtroom. It is not unusual when 3 attorneys are representing a single client to have differences of opinions. And it can be difficult when an attorney believes (right or wrong) that those differences are resolved without giving deference to those attorneys that had sound judgment, experience and skill as opposed to some other factors. When an attorney believes (right or wrong) that it is being done on charges of this magnitude it is a sign to exit.

I am grateful to have served as co counsel with George Lenard. His common sense, wisdom and advice is so sound that when tough decisions have to be made, he makes it easy to make the right decision. And although the emotional part of any attorney who has invested the time and effort that we put in says: “stay in the case”; the objective part said: “it was time to go.” And it was a decision that once made and the Motion filed, a huge burden had been lifted and I knew personally and professionally that I had made the right choice.

It should also be noted that the residence of Will County are well served by a number of extremely hard working dedicated public servants. Those in the state’s attorney office; those working for Judge White (including Judge White) and his court and the entire Courthouse personnel.

I should say that it was a pleasure working for and representing a client who was so grateful for the services we provided. Although we as lawyers often times work very hard for a two word verdict — “not guilty” — sometimes we also appreciate two other words “thank you”. And it is always easier and more inspiring to work for a client that uses that latter two words (thank you). It was easy and inspiring to work for Drew Peterson.

Finally I wish Joe Lopez the best of luck. He apparently has a great reputation and displayed a certain amount of courage entering a case on such short notice. I am sure he will do a great job and I hope that he obtains a fair and just verdict for his client — one that is two words and not one.

***UPDATE – 04/15/2010***

I just had a chance to read this story today. One of Christine Gutowski’s sources is Joel Brodsky. She also published the article about when the Hearsay decision would be issued — predicting based on “sources” that it would be issued that week — her source according to her for that statement about when the Hearsay decision would be published according to her was Joel Brodsky. She was inaccurate then and this story is inaccurate as well.

George Lenard was also kind enough to respond with his comments about withdrawing from the defense:

George D. Lenard

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the events that occurred leading up to yesterday. Any comments regarding the inner workings of the case would be inappropriate because as you know it is covered by the attorney-client privilege.

As I said, it is unfortunate that it had to come to this, but Andrew Abood any myself felt there were no other alternatives.

It was a great experience working with both Andrew and Drew. Andrew Abood is an outstanding attorney with unwavering ethics and I welcome any opportunity to work with him again in the future. Drew was a great client to work for and I wish him the best of luck in his trial.


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100 thoughts on “Andrew Abood and George Lenard speak out about withdrawal from Peterson defense

  1. Updated

    http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/bolingbrooksun/news/2160788,4_1_JO15_PETERSON_S1-100415.article#

    Drew’s latest ‘divorce’

    April 15, 2010
    By JOE HOSEY jhosey@stmedianetwork.com

    JOLIET — Drew Peterson’s ship might not be sinking, but his lawyers sure are jumping off it fast enough.

    Two of Peterson’s attorneys — George Lenard of Joliet and Andrew Abood of East Lansing, Mich. — filed motions to withdraw from Peterson’s murder case.

    The motions for both men cited “irreconcilable differences with co-counsel Joel Brodsky” and stated that “to go forth and proceed to trial would violate our firm’s ethical duty to zealously represent the best interests of our client.”

    New team
    With Lenard and Abood departing, Chicago attorney Joseph “the Shark” Lopez filed an appearance Wednesday afternoon to represent Peterson with Brodsky. Brodsky’s law partner, Reem Odeh, filed to represent Peterson months ago, but has done next to no courtroom work on the case.

    Brodsky, Peterson’s self-proclaimed “lead attorney,” was retained by the former Bolingbrook cop before Abood and Lenard joined the team. Despite his seniority, the Chicago attorney took a back seat to Lenard and Abood during the landmark hearing held in January and February to determine what hearsay evidence will be allowed at Peterson’s murder trial.

    Peterson is charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004. A state police investigation of Savio’s death ended with detectives concluding she accidentally drowned in her bathtub. But when Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in October 2007, the state police got another crack at figuring out what happened to Savio and decided that Peterson murdered her.

    The state police also believe that Peterson may have had a hand in slaying the missing Stacy, but have failed to find her body, much less determine what has happened to her.

    Peterson faces no charges in Stacy’s disappearance.

    Strained relationship?
    Abood and Lenard withdrew and Lopez entered his appearance during an impromptu hearing Wednesday afternoon. Abood warmly shook Peterson’s manacled hand and wished him good luck. Lenard slapped the jailed man’s shoulder.

    The courtroom interplay, or lack thereof, between Brodsky and his former co-counselors was less congenial.

    Peterson hesitated and seemed unsure how to respond when Judge Stephen White asked if he had any objection to Abood and Lenard pulling out of the case.

    Prior to the hearing, Abood said he and Lenard had no problem defending Peterson.

    “We’ve done our due diligence,” he said, adding, “We left on good terms.”

    Abood declined to discuss Peterson’s reaction to losing two-thirds of his defense team.

    “I don’t want to comment on Drew’s emotional state,” he said.

    Abood also did not want to detail the irreconcilable differences he had with Brodsky, but was willing to compliment Lenard and Peterson.

    “George Lenard is one of the best lawyers I’ve had the privilege of being co-counsel with,” he said. “He’s such a good person, and his reputation is so strong, he makes it easy to make the right decision and do the right thing,” said Abood, who called Peterson a “great client.”

    Asked his opinion of Brodsky, Abood said, “George is a great lawyer and Drew is a great client.”

    Lenard was equally flattering in his appraisal of Abood, and said of their departure, “It’s unfortunate that this is the result, but under the circumstances, it’s the only thing we could have done.”

  2. The Shark’ dives in

    April 15, 2010
    By JOE HOSEY jhosey@stmedianetwork.com

    JOLIET — Only one man took Drew Peterson’s murder case in front of a jury and slipped a conviction — even if it was just a mock trial for a radio show — and now that man is on the accused wife-killer’s defense team.

    Joseph “the Shark” Lopez, a Chicago lawyer famous for representing mob hitmen and drug cartels, signed on to defend Peterson the same day two of his lawyers jumped ship.

    Those two attorneys — George Lenard and Andrew Abood — cited irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky, yet another lawyer on the Peterson team. These differences were based on trial strategy and case management, according to the motions Lenard and Abood filed to withdraw from the case. And as far as trial strategies go, Lopez ripped the one Abood and Lenard supposedly wanted to use.

    “They have absolutely no concept about how to defend this case,” Lopez said.

    “This is a pretty easy case to defend — it was an accident,” he said. “(Abood) wants to put on an alibi defense. You don’t need an alibi defense when it’s an accident.”

    Peterson faces murder charges for allegedly drowning his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004. The state police detectives charged with probing the case insisted Savio did indeed fall victim to an accident, but changed their tune when Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, mysteriously vanished in October 2007.

    Friends and family of both wives have said the women feared Peterson and had predicted he would kill them and make their deaths appear accidental.

    Peterson “is being blamed for some kind of accident,” said Lopez, who is known for his colorful courtroom attire and quick wit. “It’s not justice. Justice never rests, and I want to help.”

    Lopez figured his entrance to the case would likely force Peterson’s June 14 trial to be postponed, but Judge Stephen White said during a Wednesday afternoon hearing that it was still on schedule.

    Mock trial
    While Lopez gained notoriety defending the likes of mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. in a real courtroom, he got a taste of the Peterson case when he succeeded in hanging a jury in a mock trial for WGN radio in a law school auditorium.

    During the mock trial, Lopez conceded that “everybody hates Drew,” but pointed out that Peterson did some positive things in his life, such as joining the Army and the Bolingbrook Police Department.

    “That’s not something to sneeze at either,” he said at the time.

    While Lopez was critical of Abood, the exiting attorney praised his replacement.

    “I hear he’s a great lawyer,” Abood said.

    “He comes in on a moment’s notice on a big case and files an appearance,” he said. “That’s pretty big … right?”

    Sun-Times Media’s Steve Warmbir contributed to this story.

    http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/bolingbrooksun/news/2160792,4_1_JO15_PETERSON_S2-100415.article

  3. Attorney George Lenard was also asked if he wanted to respond to yesterday’s events. His gracious reply:

    I appreciate the opportunity to respond to the events that occurred leading up to yesterday. Any comments regarding the inner workings of the case would be inappropriate because as you know it is covered by the attorney-client privilege.

    As I said, it is unfortunate that it had to come to this, but Andrew Abood any myself felt there were no other alternatives.

    It was a great experience working with both Andrew and Drew. Andrew Abood is an outstanding attorney with unwavering ethics and I welcome any opportunity to work with him again in the future. Drew was a great client to work for and I wish him the best of luck in his trial.

  4. IDK, Mr. Lopez is being written about as being a high profile attorney and all, but I think it’s pretty arrogant and distasteful to come out swinging by saying about the two withdrawing attorneys:

    “They have absolutely no concept about how to defend this case,” Lopez said.

    Did his client, Drew Peterson, tell him to say that do you think? I doubt it. More personal bashing. Oh, swell.

  5. Yes, exactly. What purpose did it serve for Attorney Lopez to come onto the case and make a stupid remark like that. No one cares about his attorney scorecard comments. This is just more of the same baloney that Brodsky does.

    But, as far as I’m concerned, that leaves Drew Peterson with the defense he just may deserve, and which corresponds perfectly with his arrogant, obnoxious attitude.

  6. It sounds like we can expect the white noise to start again. I will give Lenard and Abood kudos for being much more classy than the team they left and those taking their place. The fact that Lopez is making these off the cuff comments shows he really is a snake in the grass and Joel should watch out….they tend to bite.

  7. Well, certainly, there’s no way to know the exact details of this split, but it seems to be common sense that, basically, the attorneys that left wanted to concentrate on putting Peterson in another place(s) during the time Kathleen died, and work around the time of death.

    On the other hand, it appears as though Brodsky is going to try and convince at least one juror that Kathleen got dizzy, slipped, bounced off of numerous surfaces to bruise herself up, fall into a tub of water, and manage to drown without even trying to help free herself from the water.

    Because, if she died from an accident, there’s no need for alibis and timelines. Even with numerous witnesses with possible hearsay testimony to offer, if there was no murder, it doesn’t matter who she told what to, does it?

    So, in that regard, if the attorneys couldn’t agree on a strategy, then what was done was necessary, I suppose. But I certainly would never have expected for an attorney just coming on this case making a remark such as he did about the withdrawing attorneys.

    Why doesn’t Mr. Lopez comment on what he thinks about Brodsky hawking chicken wings and beer, and using his client to do it, rather than slamming the strategies of the attorneys he’s replacing? 😉

  8. I notice that both Abood and Lenard brought up integrity and ethics when speaking about each other. Naturally, they can’t come out and bash Joel’s deficit in those areas, but the omission of his name in their statements says volumes.

  9. Pffft, integrity and ethics? When, in all these months, did Joel Brodsky show one ounce of either? If Joseph Lopez is being described as flamboyant, what is there to describe Brodsky? And it certainly appears that to deflect the powerful evidence that may be coming Peterson’s way, it’s business as usual by finger-pointing at someone else.

  10. Interesting response from both lawyers. Abood seems a bit more angry than Lenard. It is also interesting to see that Lopez seems to be bashing Abood and Lenard in spite of them speaking well of Lopez. I still think Drew made a big mistake on this one but time will tell.

  11. I can understand Abood being more angry about the rift. He’s been with the case for a long time and I’m sure he wouldn’t have left unless there was some serious conflict.

  12. TAI – Just curious about something. Back in time, when Brodsky posted on SYM asking for people to respond with their opinions on what it would take for them to find Peterson guilty, or something similar to that, what kind of responses did he get? Can you, by any chance, find those responses and post them here? I’d be curious to know what kind of ideas he got.

    Thanks.

  13. Rescue – I started posting after Brodsky was already at that site and don’t recall that kind of post being out there. I only recall him answering people’s questions and then “zippo” he stopped posting and we got information from him second hand from someone.

  14. Oh. No, he had responses. I remember that. Maybe they’ve been deleted, otherwise, they’d still be on there. If his questions are on there, the replies should be too.

    But, that’s okay. I thought it would be interesting to see them, since they were in direct response to Brodsky. Nice for everyone to see instead of just a few people. Oh, well.

  15. I remember him polling people a couple of times. Once he wanted to know what it would take for people to be convinced he was guilty and another time Joel asked for feedback about an appearance he made on Geraldo Rivera’s show (after Drew’s weapons arrest).

    I don’t remember the answers to either question, but I don’t think they were too remarkable.

  16. I vaguely remember that Rescue. I don’t think I responded … LOL … I remember being tired of Joel asking people to respond.

  17. Hi Noway!

    Yeah, I have his questions saved somewhere, but not the responses. It’s not like it’s any big secret – he knowingly and openly posted his questions and asked for responses on the blog. I thought it would be insightful to see them, since this is in the forefront right now. It doesn’t matter if one joined before or after his questions/responses, the fact remains they’re still there, if he or the admin hasn’t deleted them.

    Thought it’d be interesting to see.

  18. rescueapet :
    Oh. No, he had responses. I remember that. Maybe they’ve been deleted, otherwise, they’d still be on there. If his questions are on there, the replies should be too.
    But, that’s okay. I thought it would be interesting to see them, since they were in direct response to Brodsky. Nice for everyone to see instead of just a few people. Oh, well.

    I have that info. Can I sent it in an email?

  19. (1) If there was a “no body” prosecution of Drew for the murder of Stacy, what would you consider to be the one essential piece of evidence you would need to convict, and without which you would acquit?

    (2) If Drew was charged with the murder of Kathleen Savio, and you believed her death was a homicide, and a lot of the so called hearsay statements were allowed into evidence, but the State could not produce any evidence that would put Drew inside Kathleen’s home at or near the time of her death would you convict him beyond a reasonable doubt.

    These two Questions Are from Joel Brodsky Please Answer each question specificaly and make sure you make reference to the question in qoutes so it can be read in a clear fashion

    ********************
    ANSWER: Joel, I took the following wording out of your quote “and you believed her death was a homicide” because its irrelevant what anyone “believes” her death to be, but I don’t think Drew would be arrested in the first place unless the State could place Drew inside the home at the time of death with a lot more evidence than just the hearsay statements.

  20. Question 1. DNA / Blood evidence & or A credible Eye witness to a crime

    Question 2 (NO ) I’m not a hear say / Circumstancial evidence kind of guy . I want hard evidence Such as A body along with DNA Or Just DNA evidence . I would like a credible Witness to a crime as well if possible .

    *************

    As Facs pointed out to me, if Judge White allows the hearsay in, the jury MUST hear it and consider it. The jury people will have questions to answer about this, most likely, prior to being allowed to sit on the jury, and if they admit they won’t consider it, how would they be on the jury in the first place?

  21. Rescue, I’m glad Lostacres has this information because I was about to write, from what I remember, the answers for the most part were having phone records showing he wasn’t home when Stacy called, and DNA evidence for Kathleen’s and Stacy’s murder, as well as a body for Stacy’s. It will be interesting to read what Lostacres has to post.

  22. ANSWER:(1) Before I could answer this, I’d need a complete, detailed accounting of his timeline — including where he was and what he did during the 3 day “head clearing” trip. i’d want corraboration of the details in his timeline as well. Depending on what was gleaned from that information, I would need to see the phone records Drew compiled on Stacy, to determine if he was indeed stalking her, prior to her disappearance. And then I’d want to see the phone records after her disappearance, and how many times he attempted to try to reach her.

    ANSWER:(2) Yes, if the hearsay witnesses were credible witnesses. I would also want to see phone records showing Stacy tried to call him the night he was gone when Kathleen died.

  23. ANSWER: A history of abuse/threats/murder.

    ANSWER: Yes. It’s no different than a no body case where he can’t be placed at the scene. My decision would be based on all of the evidence and history of violence/threats against Kathleen and his previous wives.

  24. A few short answers, so I’ll group these:

    1) Phone tree for the day
    2) show me MM&O, and I Could (not would) convict

    1. Eye Witness testimony

    2.yes

    1. History of abuse, cell phone records, eye witness

    2.If her statements and documents were allowed, yes

  25. Hmmm – I think I do remember those questions now but I couldn’t find that thread out on SYM and even looking at Joel’s posts there are posts in multiple threads where Joel reminds people to answer his 2 hypothetical questions but the post with the hypothetical questions was no longer there to find what thread it was originally posted under.

  26. ANSWER: (1)I would need to see bodily fluids from Stacy, blood, urine, etc. in one of the vehicles or inside the home, that would indicate that a crime had been committed. Or a witness that actually saw him murder Stacy.

    There could have been many reasons why Stacy’s voice was just cut short that day while yelling at Drew. She could just as well have picked up her cell phone, grabbed that Apple Computer and booked.

    Lot’s more to this but you get the drift.

    ANSWER: (2) Yes, just flat out YES

  27. ANSWER: (1) Drews stepbrothers sworn statement, video tape of them at the grill.

    (2)yes, voices from the grave

    ANSWER: Timeline, cell phone records, testimony of older children, history of abuse with this wife, or previous wives/girlfriends/fiance’s, opportunity, motive and gain.

    ANSWER: Absolutely, many cases have been tried in the US on what you term “hearsay statements”, or circumstantial evidence, where the suspect has not been proven to be “on scene” at the time of death. Again, the history, the motive, the opportunity, and the gain are paramount to the conviction.

  28. ANSWER: 1. Incriminating testimony

    2. Yes

    ANSWER: 1) Creditable witnesses. Which I think the State will be hard pressed to find in this matter. This has to be a dream for a defense attorney, so many characters.

    2) I could NEVER convict someone on hearsay alone. So with just hearsay, and Drew being nowhere near the home etc, no conviction.

  29. ANSWER:1. I think the most critical thing that I would need to convict without a body would be a confession.

    In my opinion, DNA is not going to prove anything, they were married and lived together, of course his DNA would be on her, and vice versa. Phone records are really not relevant, unless there were calls made to Drew after he last talked to Stacy. A murder weapon is no good without a body, how would you know that weapon killed someone without ballistics. The only other nugget of use would be a solid eyewitness. Unforunately, I do not believe, given his addictions and mental issues, Tom Morphey would be the witness the prosecution would want.

    ANSWER:2. No way could I ever covinct someone on hearsay. We are not talking about whether or not he would be the best babysitter and questioning his character, we are talking about charging a man with homocide, because someone said “they think they might reacll one time when” – no way.
    I would love to buy you a cup of coffee and tell you what I think happened…but I reserve comment here…

  30. ANSWER:1. There would have to be a body
    2. NO

    **************

    ANSWER:(1) If the prosecution were taking the stance that Stacy never made it out of the house alive, I would need forensic evidence showing that Stacy was harmed in some way inside the house. (ex. blood evidence inside the bedroom, etc.)

    ANSWER:(2) No. I also would have trouble even buying into the second autopsy report after all this time especially an autopsy report by Dr. Baden. He will jump on any case that has media attention just to get his name out in the public eye. And the fact that this is an election year in that area.

  31. ANSWER:(1) If there was a “no body” prosecution of Drew for the murder of Stacy, what would you consider to be the one essential piece of evidence you would need to convict, and without which you would acquit?

    ANSWER:2) If Drew was charged with the murder of Kathleen Savio, and you believed her death was a homicide, and a lot of the so called hearsay statements were allowed into evidence, but the State could not produce any evidence that would put Drew inside Kathleen’s home at or near the time of her death would you convict him beyond a reasonable doubt.

    ANSWER:In both cases I would need an actual confession from somebody else.

    Drew has the motive and means. You would need to offer one essential piece of evidence to prove his innocence.

    Considering the hearsay, the written pleas by Kathleen, the run-in Stacy had with the social worker, hospital records and others coming forward speaking of Drew’s hostility toward them after a break-up (regardless of who left who) he certainly appears more guilty than not.

    I could not, in good conscience, acquit.

    ********

    A blogger’s response to the above:

    In our country, you don’t need to prove your innocence. The burden of proof is on the prosecution, to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

    ****
    Response from original poster:

    True, but this is hypothetical. JB wants to know what one piece of evidence I would need; like the glove in OJ’s case. (I still can’t believe the jury fell for that)

    Therefore, I’m asking him if he has some sort of evidence that would sway my judgement either way.

    He’s not planning to sit there like a potted plant…….is he?

    **********

    Oh my. With all due respect, Joel’s questions were hardly hypothetical. They were dead serious. He had to say they were hypothetical, to gather the public poll. He was questioning us to gather a poll as if we were doing our ‘duty’ as jurors in a courtroom. (This is a real case, not a hypothetical case.)

    The justice system dictates and demands (like it or not) that your decision be made on facts, not hypotheses or how an attorney or defendant has ‘swayed’ your opinion. Opinions do NOT count in a court of law. Your opinion is of NO value in a court of law.

    Are you new to this country? I’m not trying to be facetious or mean, but really now … your opinion — in a court of law — is meaningless, unless you plan to defraud our justice system because you fancy your opinion to be of greater value than the facts.

    If that’s the case, it’s a very sad society in which we live. Very, very — and karma’s a bitch.

  32. What’s interesting about reading these now is that we know that any hearsay that is admitted into the trial will be there due to one exception or another andallowed because the judge wants it heard. As a jury member, you would have to consider that evidence with the same weight as any other.

    In fact, I imagine that any current jury selection questionnaire asks if you would have a problem considering hearsay and if you said you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be seated as a juror.

  33. 1) Motive. IMO he killed Stacy because she knew he killed Kathleen.
    2) Yes

    ***********
    Some opinions about the hearsay:

    (2) If Drew was charged with the murder of Kathleen Savio, and you believed her death was a homicide, and a lot of the so called hearsay statements were allowed into evidence, but the State could not produce any evidence that would put Drew inside Kathleen’s home at or near the time of her death would you convict him beyond a reasonable doubt

    ———————————————————————————-

    I have to give some thought to Joel’s questions but upon reading them my first thought about this question is that it comes up due to the recent “hearsay” law that was passed. Voices from the grave.

    **************

    The law HAS NOT been passed, its stuck at the moment due to a SNAG.

    **************

    God help everyone if it passes because everything & anything can be held against you and me in a court of law.

  34. The hearsay stuff can’t be admitted, because (as explained in the Hearsay thread), it can only be admitted if the defendant was proved to have killed a witness planning to spew said hearsay. It can’t be done. Thankfully.

    ************

    ANSWER: While I am loathe to aid you in defending your client or help him in getting away with a crime, at the same time, I can’t bite my tongue any longer. Also, I do feel a little like gloating, so…

    1. Proof need not be physical. Drew could easily have hidden or destroyed her body. The man (and I use that term loosely) was a cop for a long time. No doubt he is aware of plenty of cases where the body wasn’t found for years, even decades, after the fact.

    What Drew is not so savvy of, however, is the fact that he can still be traced, studied, dissected, without anyone being the wiser. Technology can do some amazing things these days. Drew already knows some of the stalker tricks, but he is old news. There are so much better things that the gov, especially the feds, can do that Drew wouldn’t be able to comprehend. Then again, I get the feeling that the geezer wouldn’t comprehend alot of things, so thats nothing new.

    2. Absolutely. There is no doubt in my mind as to his guilt.

  35. What these responses (and some postings at other forums) shows is that there are people out there on both sides of the fence regarding whether or not the evidence we so far have heard about was beyond a reasonable doubt or not which means that it is possible for Drew to get a fair jury and a conviction is not a slam dunk in this case.

  36. Again, these responses were all made in may of 2008 — well before any testimony or evidence had been presented.

    I’d say that even Joel’s questions were leading (or loaded) in his client’s favor. He may have been trying to get objective answers, but he coouldn’t help wording them in a way that begged for a favorable response.

    The Q and A is interesting, but hardly scientific, and certainly not a poll of a broad-cross section of people. IRC, that was even brought up at the time. I wonder if Joel found the exercise beneficial.

  37. There’s a few of these responses that are contrary to what I believe, but this is one that I find troubling:

    ANSWER: 1) Creditable witnesses. Which I think the State will be hard pressed to find in this matter. This has to be a dream for a defense attorney, so many characters.

    ***************

    I would like to hear about the defendant’s credibility too, and I would certainly want to hear why only he is telling the truth or credible, and most of the witnesses against him aren’t. It works both ways, I believe, and it will be up to the jury to decide who’s credibility holds the most weight, and who’s testimony lines up with the facts of the case, i.e., time line, phone records, sightings by others. For example, if Drew says he was at Place X, but it can be shown that he was not, in fact, at Place X, doesn’t that make him a liar as well?

  38. ANSWER:(2) No. I also would have trouble even buying into the second autopsy report after all this time especially an autopsy report by Dr. Baden. He will jump on any case that has media attention just to get his name out in the public eye. And the fact that this is an election year in that area.

    Joel Brodsky and even Drew Peterson are different and don’t fit this statement why? If I am not mistaken, these two sought out the media whenever they could, so why is Dr. Baden guilty of being a media whore and they aren’t?

  39. Facs – That is true. It was early on and not scientific or a cross section. At the time that was posted there were many more people on SYM though. Some people still have that same view though and my point was that the defense knows that there are individuals out there who may disregard the hearsay during deliberations and possibly cause a hung jury or an acquittal.

  40. Rescue – I agree with you 100%. When it comes to witness credibility – I would also have to take into account the credibility of the defendant and any defense witnesses. We’ve all said before that this case involves quite a cast of characters. All you can do is a juror though is listen to corraborating evidence that exists and determine whose testimony you believe and whose you don’t. The cross-examinations are going to be key in that regard.

  41. rescueapet :

    ANSWER:(2) No. I also would have trouble even buying into the second autopsy report after all this time especially an autopsy report by Dr. Baden. He will jump on any case that has media attention just to get his name out in the public eye. And the fact that this is an election year in that area.

    Joel Brodsky and even Drew Peterson are different and don’t fit this statement why? If I am not mistaken, these two sought out the media whenever they could, so why is Dr. Baden guilty of being a media whore and they aren’t?

    LOL. Because the primary defense strategy so far has been to make as much white noise as possible and to point the finger at everyone else.

  42. thinkaboutit2 :

    Facs – …my point was that the defense knows that there are individuals out there who may disregard the hearsay during deliberations and possibly cause a hung jury or an acquittal.

    I think we know now that a situation like that would not be allowed to happen. Since any hearsay admitted will be with full knowledge and permission of the judge through a legal exception, I’m positive jurors will be carefully instructed to consider all testimony in their consideration of guilt or innocence, including whatever hearsay is admitted.

    IMO, no juror will be seated who says that they would not consider the hearsay testimony as valid.

  43. Saying they will consider it versus believe it are two different things. Each juror hears all kinds of evidence shown one way by the prosecution and another way by the defense. Some of the hearsay will have more formal documentation (such as Kathleen’s words on the Order of Protection and medical records). Others will be what people said they were told. But in the end the juror decides what they believe. IMO the judge decides what they get to hear – not that they have to accept it as fact.

  44. What, in any of the information that has been confirmed so far, screams accident? If the expert the defense put on at the hearsay phase is to be believed, Kathleen possibly had a sudden death by way of a heart attack, fell violently, still breathed in water because it was in her sinus passages, and drowned. But, in that scenario, no information was uncovered that showed a heart attack in the autopsy, which the defense expert claims wouldn’t be seen. To that I say, huh? Then why, over and over, do coroners do autopsies day in and day out to determine a cause of sudden death, and come up with findings of heart attack on everyone else but Kathleen Savio?

    Is that believable, for anyone?

    There were no drugs or alcohol in her system to cause a sudden slip and fall, common in those circumstances.

    Even if you believe she could be dizzy in the head, or clumsy, there’s plenty of other conflicting “evidence” that indicates she wasn’t in the midst of a bath. Or that she had secured her home with the extra locks and security alarm she had installed to protect her from the one person she was deathly afraid of.

    It was pointed out that there were no clothes or towels in the room while half of Bolingbrook was present. Yet, after her ex-husband shooed everyone out of the room to “preserve” the scene, the magical, miraculous towels appeared. Made it in the crime scene pics. The ones that the defense expert based his findings on. but, who admitted he might reconsider his findings after he was told the investigation was bungled, homocide was never even considered, and towels appeared out of the blue!

    So, if accident is going to be the defense’s redemption, IMO, it’s going to be a stretch of the imagination. Possibly, a divine intervention from heaven above that gave Kathleen the ability to breath, even after death. Just not long enough to save herself from drowning.

  45. Granted, TAI. But I’m sure that in this particular case jurors will be asked ahead of time how they feel about hearsay testimony as evidence and if they will be able to follow the instructions of the judge. If they are honest, and say they have problems with it, I imagine they will not be seated.

    Certainly, any hearsay testimony would need to be considered and weighed just as all the testimony and evidence will be. Some might find Drew’s Red Alibi Folder of receipts to mean that he has a good alibi – others might feel it indicates guilt since most people wouldn’t create one in anticipation of being charged with murder. But if a prospective juror was to reveal during questioning that she didn’t believe in red folders and couldn’t possibly consider any evidence that was contained in one…then I don’t think this lady would end up on the jury. That’s all I’m saying.

    In retrospect it just seems a little naive of Joel Brodsky to ask the hypothetical question about hearsay, when the decision about whether it is heard or not is up to the judge…not the jurors.

  46. Rescue – The fact that there was no heart condition evident in the autopsies (1st, 2nd, or 3rd) and no drugs were found in her system then those causes become logically invalid. The only think I could even remotely think of is that someone can get dizzy and faint for other reasons – and if you faint you still breathe. Someone who faints may not have anything show up in an autopsy. My husband has has low blood sugar dizziness sometimes and it makes him feel faint. I still don’t know how you fall the way it is explained that she landed. The towels suddenly appearing will be an interesting point for the prosecution – I mean why would anyone put towels in there if they weren’t there unless they realized they messed up? And the coroner’s jurors who have testified that they weren’t given the choice of undetermined will be good witnesses too because one of them was quoted as saying they had questions about the blood that couldn’t be answered but didn’t clearly point out homicide so accident was the best pick from the list.

    If anyone was trying to go the suicide route for real – that one just seems loopy to me. I cannot even somewhat think of how someone could do that and land the way she did. People who commit suicide by drowning are often intentionally overdosed on medications and alcohol. I don’t even think it is physically possible to drown yourself in a tub due to our reflexes.

    So that leaves homicide – so if they want to argue someone else killed her Drew needs an alibi. So who is his alibi now that Stacy is gone?? Remember they talked about his older teen son being his alibi. Do you think they are really going to put that boy on the stand and have him face cross-examination? If Drew and Stacy argued in front of the teens (like he and Kathleen did if you listen to Drew’s other son stated in his tesimony) – then having the teen on the stand could actually hurt the defense. Could be another potential reason that the lawyers are in disagreement…???

  47. For me, my thinking is, to have someone be so intent on lying their way through a jury questionnaire, hide one’s secret beliefs, and try to get on a jury such as this with the sole reason being to sway a jury one way or the other, makes for a cuckoo person. Drew Peterson is not worthy of someone, a stranger, risking possible legal ramifications just to sink or save his sorry butt.

    If someone were to be so against the hearsay law as it stands as to lie about their true beliefs, their verdict will have little bearing on what the Supremes may someday rule on. ANYONE who gets on that jury, who’s mind is made up before they hear one iota of testimony, isn’t playing with a full deck. If that’s justice, then it sucks.

  48. It seems the defense HAS to convince the jury that the death was an accident. I doubt that they will get many to believe this, if anyone. But, who knows. That’s the position they’re taking. So, if Drew is for that plan of defense, then, possibly, he is not considering having his son testify on his behalf at the trial as an alibi. I don’t know.

    On the other hand, if the defense were to consider other options, absent accident, of course, the logical route to take would be to solidify alibis, timelines, lack of means, motive and ways. That set of circumstances is monumental, no? So, it appears they want to put all of their resources, and hang their seeds of doubt, on Kathleen’s heath, and how it could have possibly caused her bathtub death.

    Still, even without the hearsay testimony from people who Kathleen confided in, I still think the questionable circumstances are not looking too good for the credibility and innocence of the defendant.

  49. Facs – I agree that Drew’s question didn’t matter in that regard because it is up to the judge not the jury as to what evidence will be admitted at trial. But maybe his thought of asking the question had more to do with determining if it was better to try a plea deal or not if hearsay is allowed. I don’t think they will do that though. I can’t see either of these guys ever copping a plea.

    As far as the hearsay goes – at this point we don’t even know if the judge is going to allow any of it in as evidence and I don’t know if that was on the questionnaire they already completed but will be part of the lawyer questioning to choose from the pool.

    As far as the folder of receipts. I’ll be honest with you – Drew had already been served with an Order of Protection prior to Kathleen’s death and he and Stacy were questioned right after her death. One could argue that he created that folder at that particular time and stuck it in his file cabinet but never removed it once they finally ruled it accidental. I still have bank statements and school report cards from 10 years ago in my file cabinet that I don’t really need any more but I’m the kind of person who just adds to my drawer and probably won’t purge anything until I run out of room for more file cabinets.

    So the jury selection process is still scheduled to begin in mid-June right? That’s not really that far away. If that gets pushed back any that may make the case push much further back since the current judge is set to retire in October IIRC.

  50. Abood closed his comments with, “I hope that he obtains a fair and just verdict for his client — one that is two words and not one.”

    Me, too, Abood!… “INCREDIBLY GUILTY!!”

  51. The believabilty of the contents of Drew’s Red Albi Folder is one of those things that is completely up to the jury to interpret.

    My point about the folder was a somewhat absurd allegory to the hearsay that may or may not be admitted. I was creating a hypothetical in which a potential juror stated that they had a strong bias against the use of “Red Folder” testimony in a court of law and felt that they could never accept as valid the contents of Any Red Folder! I would imagine that once that was known, the person with the Red Folder bias probably wouldn’t be seated as a juror.

  52. No biggie, TAI. 🙂 There’s a lot to read today and it’s a busy time of year (no to mention distractingly warm in these parts)

    BTW, we heard from Andrew Abood again and he says that the whole mention of a “suicide defense” in the Daily Herald story is innacurate. He also believes that Joel Brodsky was the source for the info in that story.

  53. Makes you wonder why he’d think that though. Maybe he made a comment like that during a disagreement they had or that he was going to say things like that and that Hell hath no fury like a lawyer scorned.

    My mind has been more on following the search regarding little Haleigh Cummings these last couple of days. I keep praying they find that little girl and they learn the truth about what happened.

  54. Ok — haven’t even finished reading the article yet, but I have to say it’s SO unprofessional to submit a statement without proof reading for proper grammar, etc. Would you want someone representing you that doesn’t double check for accuracy? “…the residence of Will County are well served…” Do you think he should have said the “RESIDENTS” as in people and not RESIDENCE as in the “house” of Will County! OMG I would not want this guy representing me for a traffic ticket let alone murder trial!

  55. It’s good to see Joel is back driving the bus and steering it back into the direction of a big cliff, as for a while (other than insulting the Judges ability from time to time) he appeared to have been asleep at the wheel whilst the bus was going along nicely just the same.

    It looks like Andrew Abood and George Lenard knew the bus would eventually head for the cliff anyway and got off at the next stop – LOL !

  56. So now we have Joseph “the Shark” Lopez aboard and see how long he tolerates Joel Brodsky driving the bus.

    If he is as much of a “shark” as anyone says he is, he’ll be circling Joel before long and swallow him whole when Joel least expects it (!!)

  57. Personally, I appreciate the fact that Andrew Abood, as well as George Lenard, took the time to respond to the emails Facs and/or Rescue sent. And thank you ladies, for contacting both of them.

  58. Sureyouwill, For the record, Andrew Abood wrote that email (not article) to us on his Blackberry which is no small feat for text of that length. I’m completely cutting him some slack on any typos, and very much appreciate that he took the time to reply to our enquiry. That goes for George Lenard as well.

  59. Well, I too appreciate all of the efforts that Facs, Rescue and others have dedicated to Stacy. I do believe, however, that they owed an explaination and/or response to their departure; they weren’t really doing “us” a favor. The fact is, it looks trully foolish and unprofessional for a “professional lawyer” of any sort, to be giving a statement without checking for errors prior to submission.

  60. If it helps, Sureyouwill, Abood prefaced his email with an apology for any typos or grammatical errors he might make since he was using his Blackberry. The auto word completion feature has screwed up many a text…

  61. justanotherhen :So now we have Joseph “the Shark” Lopez aboard and see how long he tolerates Joel Brodsky driving the bus.
    If he is as much of a “shark” as anyone says he is, he’ll be circling Joel before long and swallow him whole when Joel least expects it (!!)

    From the mouth of “the Shark” @rescueapet #18, it sounds like the Dream Team now consists of Joseph “the Shark” Lopez and Joel “The Amatuer” Brodsky !

  62. sureyouwill :Well, I too appreciate all of the efforts that Facs, Rescue and others have dedicated to Stacy. I do believe, however, that they owed an explaination and/or response to their departure; they weren’t really doing “us” a favor. The fact is, it looks trully foolish and unprofessional for a “professional lawyer” of any sort, to be giving a statement without checking for errors prior to submission.

    explaination* (Hehe!) Just had to do it! 🙂

    Brodsky and Abood’s teams both seemed to frequently forget to run spell and grammar check their material – even the official ones that were submitted to the court.

  63. If Drew is convicted I wonder if Abood or Lenard would help him with an appeal based on incompetent representation…

  64. From a Roe Conn Twitter:

    Andrew Abood on leaving Drew Peterson’s defense team: Joel Brodsky’s personality drove me from the case.
    about 17 hours ago via web

  65. Well, peeps, after you’ve listened to this radio broadcast between Roe Conn and Andrew Abood, you will have learned that what we’ve been saying about Mr. Brodsky all along does not merely reflect only our opinions here, and that even Roe Conn concludes that the interests of the defendant are not being fully served having Brodsky as his lawyer.

    Oh, really?

    Well, we can hope that Brodsky stays on the case anyway. 😉

  66. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office is well prepared for this, and Abood is concerned about Brodsky’s level of preparation. That’s how Roe Conn worded his statement to Brodsky. Lotta blubbering coming from Brodsky.

  67. Brodsky claims, at about 3+ minutes into the broadcast, that Andrew Abood’s defense strategy, which Brodsky opposed, would have resulted in Peterson’s conviction. Brodsky said Abood was 180-degrees wrong in how he wanted to present the defense.

    Brodsky has no concerns about his own lawyering abilities. Good for him.

    So, there ya have it. We’ll have to wait and see how it does play out, heh?

  68. Why did Joel Brodsky nod off in court during the hearsay hearings, during the crucial, important testimony of their expert witness? The one who claims Kathleen died as the result of an accident, albeit, convoluted? If that testimony couldn’t keep him perked up and aware of his surroundings, what in heaven’s name is this going to mean to the jury? This is the ONE guy who is supposed to sway the jury to believe she had an accident.

    JMHO.

  69. Well in his interview with Roe Conn, Brodsky did say that the hearsay trial “for all as important as it was, you know,it wasn’t gonna end up with a guilt – a, a guilty or a not guilty, ya know – it could only determine what evidence could or could not come in”…

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