Two more big names join Peterson defense team
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff
Published: 4/22/2010 5:27 PM
They don’t have cool nicknames like “The Shark,” but two other high-profile Chicago attorneys known for their aggressive courtroom styles are joining the Drew Peterson defense team. Attorneys Steven A. Greenberg and Ralph E. Meczyk are expected to file their appearances by Monday to defend the former Bolingbrook police sergeant on charges he killed his third wife as the former couple neared a financial settlement in their divorce.
Both attorneys have handled dozens of murder trials in their lengthy legal careers. Most notably, Meczyk defended former Chicago police officer Anthony Doyle in the landmark Family Secrets federal mob trial. And, late last year, Greenberg represented triple killer Brian Dugan for the infamous 1983 sex slaying of Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville.
In that case, a DuPage County jury in November initially signed a “life” verdict form after the defense explored functional brain imaging technology to explain Dugan’s mental makeup. The panel ultimately sent Dugan to death row, however, after the main holdout juror had a change of heart before the initial verdict was announced.
Greenberg and Meczyk join lead attorney Joel Brodsky, Reem Odeh, and Joseph “The Shark” Lopez, who also was a lead attorney in the Family Secrets trial. Lopez filed an appearance last week after Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew, citing “irreconcilable differences” with Brodsky regarding key trial strategy issues.
Drew Peterson, 56, maintains his innocence in Kathleen Savio’s 2004 drowning death. His fourth wife Stacy, 23, was reported missing in October 2007, but Peterson hasn’t been charged with any wrongdoing in that case.
Jury selection is slated to begin June 14, but the trial may be delayed if prosecutors appeal Will Circuit Judge Stephen White’s anticipated ruling regarding the admissibility of about one dozen hearsay statements.
“The passing of a law designed to convict a specific person makes this a witch hunt; that offends my sense of justice,” Greenberg said of a recent hearsay law sparked by the Peterson case. “I look forward to the challenge of ensuring Drew gets a fair trial and is found not guilty.”
Peterson, arrested May 7, remains in the Will County jail on a $20 million bond.
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