Hearsay appeal arguments to be heard February 16

Drew Peterson

The Beacon News is reporting that oral arguments will be heard relating to the appeal of excluded hearsay evidence  by Judge White in the Drew Peterson trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio. The oral arguments are scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. on February 16, 2011. This hearing is being held before the Illinois Appellate Court in Ottowa.

These proceedings will be open to the public, although Judge White’s rulings, and all subsequent filings, are currently under seal.

One of the local tv stations has requested that it be allowed to televise the proceedings.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office had filed an appeal after Judge White, who has since retired, excluded some of the hearsay evidence they presented at a pretrial hearsay hearing early last year.

UPDATE 1/25/11: Joel Brodsky has announced that Steve Greenberg will be arguing for the defense, assisted by Lisa M. Lopez (wife and law partner of Joe Lopez).

Read the story at Beacon News

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45 thoughts on “Hearsay appeal arguments to be heard February 16

  1. This is good news. It’s good news because it means that this case may finally move forward, and all of the silly media games the head honcho dreams up will take a back seat to what really counts. Arguments presented in court instead of attacks on the victims and their families.

    Do you think that the Appellate Court Judges have been paying attention though, and reading the various letters that have been released by the defense through Sneed? I wonder if that is going to sway them in their rulings? Oh, never mind. I guess not.

    I just hope there isn’t a continuation of delays.

  2. After oral arguments are presented, it could take the judges one to six months or more to make a ruling.

    “It depends on the complexity of the issues involved,” he said.

    A ruling also could be delayed if the judges are not in total agreement.

    “Or they may agree on the outcome, but not how they’re getting there — the analysis,” Fleshman said.

    The average length of time for a decision is three months.

    More hurry up and wait…

  3. White sealed his ruling, so information on which statements were allowed and which were excluded is not public. But the oral arguments before the Appellate Court will be open to the public, Fleshman said.

    “The attorneys should avoid discussing in detail anything that is sealed,” he said.

    How are they going to argue if they can’t discuss in detail what is sealed? Wasn’t the whole decision sealed? I mean, I realize that it was deliberately leaked to the press but as far as court proceedings go it’s going to be awfully quiet in there if they have to follow that guideline.

  4. In June, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected an appeal in a case where hearsay evidence was used to convict a Naperville man of killing four family members in 2005.

    Controversial law, but I can reason in my mind that a murderer of a potential witness against him or her, solely to silence the witness’s testimony in a future trial, should justify hearing the powerful words from the grave.

    The Mob was notorious for silencing their witnesses, and this type of evidence is used against them.

  5. If those that are all hinky about the Illinois Hearsay Law are ever the victim of death threats by a defendant in a future trial that you might be testifying in, don’t worry about telling anyone about your fears. See, in that case, even if you tell as many people as you can that you are afraid of getting dead, if you do wind up mysteriously dead to quiet you, we’ll get someone to toss you in a tub of water and make it look like an accident. Better to be dead and preserve the Constitutional rights of the murderer, than make use of a perfectly valid law that would prosecute and convict the guy for shutting you up permanently. 😉

  6. For the record, according to the news reports from last May when the judge’s ruling was sealed, these are the only hearsay statements (out of about 15) that he was going to allow into evidence:

    1. Kathleen Savio’s statement to her sister Anna Doman that “Drew said he’s going to kill me and I would not make it to the divorce settlement, I will never get his pension or my children.”
    2. Kathleen Savio’s statements in 2003 to Mary Parks, a classmate at Joliet Junior College, that Peterson “could kill her and no one would know”.
    3. Kathleen Savio’s statements in 2003 to Mary Parks, a classmate at Joliet Junior College, that Peterson entered Savio’s home, pinned her down by her throat and asked, “Why don’t you just die?”
    4. Stacy Peterson’s statement to her pastor, Neil Schori, that she saw Peterson return home late, dressed in black and carrying a bag of women’s clothing, shortly before Savio’s body was found.
    5. Kathleen Savio’s 2002 letter of complaint to an assistant state’s attorney and a handwritten statement given Bolingbrook police regarding a 2002 run-in with Peterson.

  7. Some more background about the hearsay and other issues:

    Glasgow largely has built his case around pathology reports and 13 hearsay statements that he says would allow Savio and Stacy to speak from the grave. He even pushed for a new Illinois statute — dubbed Drew’s Law — to allow secondhand testimony at trial if the judge finds it reliable and if the bulk of evidence shows that the defendant made the witness unavailable.

    Though White sided with prosecutors in finding that the preponderance of evidence showed Peterson’s wrongdoing, he still barred the majority of hearsay witnesses because they did “not provide sufficient safeguards of reliability.”

    Prosecutors asked White to reconsider his decision in light of a June 24 Illinois Supreme Court ruling upholding the conviction of Eric Hanson, a Naperville man sentenced to death for the 2005 slaying of three relatives.

    White rejected the request and said Thursday that he is bound to follow the guidelines established under the new hearsay statute. Hanson was convicted before the passage of Drew’s Law and therefore faced a different standard, he said.

    Prosecutors also appealed the judge’s refusal to allow an attorney to testify to how much money Peterson would have lost to Savio in their divorce settlement, court records show.

    Glasgow’s team also is asking the appellate court to overturn White’s decision to bar three witnesses from testifying about so-called prior bad acts involving Peterson. Among the three is Peterson’s adult son Eric, who testified at an earlier hearing about a violent incident between his father and Savio in 1993.


  8. Im Katleen Savio sister and would like to thank you for your support for kitty. Every one has been very honest and supported for me. As the news comes out I always depend on your site. I really am thankful and kiitty would be so thankful to ! May god Bless you all Kitty loves you sue doman

  9. Bless you too, Sue. You’re a true peace-keeper and now a crusader in the fight against domestic violence. I’ll bet your sister would be so proud of you.

    We’re always thinking about you, the families and justice for Kitty and Stacy!

  10. Hmm, according to that poll Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune did earlier in the month, the results of whether or not Drew Peterson would be convicted were:

    Monday, January 17, 2011
    2011 prediction-survey roundup: I’ve already blown one!

    Former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson is facing trial this year on charges he murdered this third wife, Kathleen Savio and…

    53% of readers agreed with me that he will be convicted

    Certainly junk science, but the public isn’t overwhelmingly buying into the defense’s tactics and ideas either. Maybe Drew Peterson’s other attorneys are working on the courtroom aspect of it and letting the lead attorney amuse himself and pretend he’s putting his law degree to good use.

  11. “The attorneys should avoid discussing in detail anything that is sealed,” he said.

    If it’s something they avoid talking about in detail, won’t that give away that it’s one of those that are sealed?

  12. IMO, this is all a ridiculous shame. This guy is a sergeant from a small suburban town. His proceedings, from beginning to end, could have been and should have been transparent. Instead, his lead attorney made a mockery of the death of Kathleen Savio and disappearance of Stacy Peterson by parading Peterson around to generate money, and we all know it, spew propaganda against the victims’ families and/or witnesses, and just pissed off a judge to the point where he sealed the motions, pleadings, etc.. to force the majority of the leaks and comments to stop.

    And the sad part of it is, any defense related propaganda is still being spewed out in unorthodox ways. But now, for some unbeknownst reason, Exlaw, posting as “toptapper” on the Sun Times comment section, used her secret code post to insinuate the wife of the defense attorney was leaking documents to the press, among other things. I’d sure like to know how she knows that, and for that matter, who the subject of the battery call was to the Police Department’s First District in May.

    So if we’re going to talk about sealed documents, I think this would be a good place to start and see what develops on who, and why, leaked documents to the media.

  13. toetapper

    8:44 PM on January 19, 2011

    The question remains..who is the power behind the throne! The female with the most to gain ? Could it be a Fashionista wearing Louboutins that leaks court documents to the press? Or the so called lady who batters a former female lawyer? …Who will be walking one day with no free drinks to be served at local hot spots.Karma is a***** , well you get the picture..And what snake slid into certain law offices that plays for the other team?

    Yeah, we get the picture. What’s the point of acting like the sealing of documents means anything in this case?

  14. I’ve been giving some thought to this controversial Hearsay Law. It’s purpose is to allow statements into a murder defendant’s trial if the judge rules that a victim was murdered to silence them from testifying against that murder defendant.

    What would any one of us do if a beloved relative or friend confided in us that they feared death at the hands of another? Tell them to go to the police and/or get a restraining order? That’s about all that is available to do in that situation, no?

    Imagine it coming true. Imagine having your sister, or dear family member or friend, die a violent death, maybe even a mysterious, questionable death, and having to endure the naysayers who want to preserve the murderer’s rights. Imagine having to discard and disregard statements from good, decent, honest people because hearsay is “Unconstitutional.” Imagine having Mr. Lawyer digging into every single aspect of your life, good or bad, and using it to humiliate and demoralize you. Just because you wanted the truth to be told, that you were told by someone that another threatened them with death. And death came.

    IDK, I guess I look at it quite differently than some, but I’ll never find the logic or good in it, if it means a murderer will walk free in spite of it. To me, that’s not justice.

  15. Joel Brodsky announced that he won’t be arguing against the appeal next month, but instead is sending in Greenberg and some sort of female version of Lopez.:

    Steve Greenberg will be arguing for the Defense, assisted by Lisa (“Sharkette”) Lopez.

  16. I think most people would say that wasn’t a shining moment for Drew Peterson. If you watch Thomas during the session where Peterson is asked about his on again/off again girlfriend, he doesn’t know where to look. He seems clearly uncomfortable. Kris, well he just seems to shrivel up more and more as the interview goes on.

    Just sad.

  17. The saddest interview to date. Add to the fact that Tom makes a statement about his father having all of the money coming back to them, but I don’t think the new will information where Drew decided to leave everything to Stephen had been made public yet. (correct?) Have you ever watched a man blink so much during an interview? Drew peeks up for a split second when Tom mentions what a good dad he is. It was like he was blinking out Morse Code. (G-U-I-L-T-Y)

  18. Interesting mention of Maksym’s involvement in the suit to bar Emanuel from running for Mayor:

    …In the Emanuel ballot challenge, the two plaintiffs, Walter P. Maksym and Thomas L. McMahon, hardly household names, argue Emanuel didn’t dot his residency “i”.

    I couldn’t find McMahon, a retired Chicago Police detective, but did talk to Maksym. An attorney whose cases have included accused wife killer Drew Peterson, Maksym has also worked in the field of election law.

    “I believe in a level playing field,” he said by phone. “And I have clients who were city workers where the city requires them to live in the city.”

    Maksym says those clients are furious that their residency requirements feel far stricter than what is required, as they see it, for Emanuel to run for mayor.

    That, said Maksym, led him to hire fellow election attorney Burt Odelson to take this case.

    How much is he paying him?

    Maksym won’t say.

    Is it a lot?

    Maksym won’t say.

    Are big-name politicians and Emanuel’s opponents funding this? Maksym insists, “Nobody else is involved . . . I have no dog in this race. . . Rather than play golf, I take cases that are particularly challenging, with a long fairway and a little hole.”

    To the outside political world, this looks like a strange story…


  19. Webmaster Illinois Courts [webmaster@court.state.il.us]
    3rd District Oral Arg. Cal. for Feb. Posted to the IL Courts Website 01/26/11:

    ***WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2011 – 1:15 P.M.
    CONSOLIDATED WITH: 3-10-0514, 3-10-0515, 3-10-0546 & 3-10-0550
    People of the State of Illinois, Appellant
    (Mr. James Glasgow & Ms. Domenica A. Osterberger)


    Drew Peterson, Appellee
    (Mr. Joel A. Brodsky, Mr. Steven A. Greenberg,
    Mr. Joseph R. Lopez, Mr. Ralph E. Meczyk,
    Mr. Darryl Goldberg & Ms. Lisa M. Lopez)

  20. 09L 000326 Savio wrongful death lawsuit

    PETERSON DREW 1 27 11 WCCA 900 09L 000326 Status
    SAVIO HENRY J 1 27 11 WCCA 900 09L 000326 Status

  21. THANK YOU, Rescue and Facs for keeping Justice Café factual, staying focused, and following the News and discussion about the cases of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson, wives of Drew Peterson. You are doing a fantastic job keeping this a professional forum.

  22. ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    Peterson probate case continued till 5/19.

    ShorewdILPatch Joseph Hosey
    Attorney Martin Glink says Thomas Peterson is still in the case.

    Guess this is not over yet. Papers may have been filed, but it appears the reason(s) for Thomas withdrawing will be looked into more closely.

    Story from Joe Hosey will be coming out soon, as he attended the hearing this morning.

  23. Yes, interesting because this isn’t as simple as it was made out to be by the Tom Peterson outgoing letter. All of the parties want to know how he arrived at this decision.

  24. Thomas will probably say exactly what Drew has brainwashed him to say….I’ve heard it only takes saying something 21 times to make it a memory…Of course he will state that now since he’s an adult…blah, blah, blah…..he’s entitled to have his say in things respected….

  25. What I find interesting is, if Thomas is concerned that the law suit against his father is silly because, “do the math…” what difference does it really make — if the suit against his father stays Thomas and his brother get the money; if Thomas drops from the case, then I guess his brother gets the money AND Thomas would get the money anyway. What difference does it make…Thomas can support his father with the money if that’s what he’s concerned about. It’s NOT taking food out of anyone’s mouth, it just allocating it to its rightful owner. Boy they have that kid brainwashed…so sad!!! The comment in his article to sneed about him being sad that his brother and sister are missing out on being raised by their dad so they can turn out just like him (being Thomas) — “smart” and “achieving more than anyone else dreams of…” is a blessing! That comment from Thomas alone has narcissitic tendency. Looks like the apple isn’t falling too far. Very sad!

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