Defense motions could delay Peterson trial
May 13, 2010
By JOE HOSEY
JOLIET — Drew Peterson’s jury is supposed to be picked in exactly a month and a day, but his lawyers are poised to launch a barrage of paperwork that could push back the disgraced former cop’s murder trial.
“These motions aren’t filed to delay the start of the trial,” said Joseph “Shark” Lopez, one of the six lawyers representing the accused wife-killer. “They’re filed for the purpose of protecting Mr. Peterson’s life under the Constitution.”
Another of Peterson’s lawyers, Joel Brodsky, said the defense team has prepared at least nine motions to be presented to Judge Stephen White.
“That’s not unusual for a case of this complexity,” Brodsky said. “There’s a lot of issues we have to get resolved before trial.”
Lopez said he could not go into detail about the motions as they must be filed under seal.
“I’d love to talk about the substance of these motions but I don’t think it would be appropriate at this time,” he said. “I can tell you one thing: They’ll be very interesting.”
Lopez did shed a bit of light on the confidential court filings, saying, “These motions attack some of the evidence” and that they “narrow the issues.” He also said prosecutors might have already received them and that they will be battled over in court.
“These motions will require evidentiary hearings,” Lopez said. Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, said prosecutors are primed to pick a jury June 14 and that they “will deal with any motions as they’re filed.”
Peterson allegedly murdered his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004. The state police insisted Savio accidentally drowned in her bathtub until Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, mysteriously vanished in October 2007. State police then suddenly zoomed in on Peterson as a suspect in Savio’s death and arrested him a year and a half later.
State police also suspect Peterson may have had a hand in slaying the missing Stacy, but have not done anything as drastic as charging him with harming her.
Peterson, unable to make his $20 million bond, has languished in jail for the last year and six days waiting for his murder trial to start. And after all this time, according to Brodsky, he can’t wait to get in front of a jury.
“He’s more confident than ever,” Brodsky said. “He’s looking forward to the weakness of the state’s case being revealed.”
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