No decision on mistrial.
Defense needs time to consider if they want to strike Thomas Pontarelli’s testimony or go for a mistrial.
Court adjourned until 9 am tomorrow.
Judge holds off on declaring mistrial.
Atty Lopez tweets: “This is a real mess”
Attorney teams are huddled in adjacent, separate courtrooms. No decisions have been made.
Drew Peterson is with his defense team.
Judge Burmila in conference with both teams behind closed doors.
Defense atty Steve Greenberg is the only atty left in the main courtroom.
All the lawyers are back in court with the judge.
Spectators and media filing into the courtroom. Several defense attys are already inside. Prosecutors are in adjacent courtroom.
State’s attorney James Glasgow has just entered the courtroom.
Court is in session.
More people in overflow room than for opening statements. Even some court’s media office have come in to hear Judge’s ruling.
Burmila: bullet testimony “a low blow.”
Judge suggests striking Thomas Pontarelli’s testimony in total. He is allowing the defense to discuss it.
Drew Peterson watched intently, looking up at the judge, as Burmila explained himself. Glasgow looked down at desk. Courtroom nearly full.
Attorney Greenberg is overheard to say “that’s not what I wanted to hear.”
Judge: It’s more important to get this right rather than any sort of delay.
Judge will rule on Mistrial at 1:15
Joel Brodsky says Peterson is in shock, disbelief.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky walked briskly from the courthouse during the break, shouting “No comment at this time!” to camera crews.
Court artist Christine Cornell on In Session says Peterson is in good spirits, asked to see her drawing and requested that she give him a bit of a face lift. She says that what prosecution did was just “dumb” and that Glasgow appears “carved out of stone” as the rest of the courtroom emptied and he remained seated and immobile. Ass’t SA Patton would not return eye contact with her.
Defense says they are officially going for mistrial.
Drew Peterson appears relaxed in court. Not cocky, but like he doesn’t have a care in the world.
Defense: “This is intentionally bringing before the jury evidence that the court excluded” “that hole in the door had absolutely nothing to do with this case…”
Prosecution maintains they never lead the jury. “We wish to show Kathleen Savio’s fear of Drew Peterson and we have a lot of witnesses to go yet.”
Prosecution: Pontarelli was intimidated by .38 shell in driveway, and told Peterson “I got your message last night.” Peterson said “What message?”
State: No intent to “poison” the jury, attempt to get out Pontarelli’s “true feelings” about Peterson. Judge can ask jury to disregard.
Judge asks jury to disregard statement about the hole in the door.
“Argument makes absolutely no sense to the courts” Judge discussing the State discussing bullet in driveway.
Lopez concludes his cross-examination of Pontarelli. Ass’t SA Kathy Patton begins her re-direct.
Redirect stalled by numerous objections. Pontarelli says he felt intimidated when Peterson accused him of changing front door locks – said he didn’t.
Jury taken out of court room after Thomas Pontarelli says he saw 38 caliber bullets on his driveway.
Burmila: He found a .38 bullet in driveway and you’re going to leave the jury with impression the defendant may or may not have put it there?
Judge sustains defense’s objection to intimidation testimony.
Atty Greenberg asks for a mistrial over the comment. Judge takes a break so they can discuss. Atty Patton admits prosecution can’t backup the testimony with evidence about .38 bullet. Judge seems irritated.
Prosecutors said they were about to ask Pontarelli if he could prove DP put bullet there. He’d likely say no.
Pontarelli and Peterson nodded at each other as if to say “hello” while he was leaving the courtroom.
Thomas Pontarelli about to take the stand again to defense atty Lopez’s questions.
He didn’t tell police Peterson made a phone call from the bathroom after finding Savio dead. He looks at the police report.
Witness looks at photos of lock and hole in the door from Savio’s bedroom and tells Lopez he doesn’t know where or when hole appeared. Asked to ID a photo of a cat allegedly belonging to Savio. He doesn’t know who’s cat it is. Witness is asked about telling police he installed a deadbolt on Savio’s door. He is certain that the hole in Savio’s door was there BEFORE her death in 2004.
State objects to leading questions.
Court takes 10 minute break.
Peterson called saying he needed to drop of the kids but Savio wasn’t around. Peterson said he was getting a locksmith. When witness went outside, locksmith was already there. He doesn’t recall if DP said “he didn’t want to go in there, in case something was wrong?” Witness describing who went where when they first entered the house. Witness says he went directly to the garage. The door was locked. He & his son then heard his wife’s scream from upstairs. When screaming started, he and his son went up stairs first, then Peterson followed.He and Peterson stayed upstairs and waited for paramedics. Everyone else went downstairs.
He was also worried about Savio before they even entered the house. Witness is asked about what he told EMTs. Witness is asked why he didn’t tell troopers about no clothes or towels on the floor on bathroom. Witness can’t remember. He, wife Mary and Steve Carcerano went to Steve’s house. He doesn’t recall what officers he spoke with later that night.
State objects. Sidebar.
Defense atty Joe Lopez begins cross of Pontarelli.
Thomas Pontarelli says he would drink with Peterson “we were friends” “tried to remain neutral…wasn’t easy”
Witness says after DP moved out, both DP and Savio started dating again. DP got married.
When DP still lived with Savio, he stayed downstairs in his “apartment.”
Lopez asks witness if he wants to be here today. Witness says “no.”
witness recalls the last weekend Savio was alive. They had just come back from vacation. Savio approached them in the driveway. He says his wife invited her to go out that evening. Savio declined.Thomas Pontarelli saw Savio’s light on around midnight Saturday. He doesn’t remember any strange noises. On Sunday they sent their son (Nick) over to invite Savio to dinner. No one came to the door.
Witness using laser pointer to show where everyone was, including where Savio’s body was.
Peterson was standing next to him, then took Savio’s pulse. Peterson then said “What am I going to tell my children?”
Pontarelli reiterates his wife’s earlier testimony that they went to a party Saturday night. They got home shortly after midnight.
Monday evening they got a call from Peterson, saying he was getting a locksmith because he can’t get into the house.
The home was completely dark when they entered.
“Don’t go up there because we not know what we are going to find” Thomas Pontarelli told his son after hearing he screams.
Peterson did not go up the stairs when after the screams but followed Thomas after he went up.
Pontarelli said he didn’t see a towel or any clothes near the bathtub where he saw Kathleen Savio.
“it was clean…there was no soap scum” Thomas Pontarelli describes how he saw the tub.
Everyone left the bathroom but Peterson and Thomas Pontarelli.
Pontarelli: Overheard Peterson make call after Savio body found, said “just found my wife dead and they’re going to think I did it.”
Pontarelli: The lock did not have scratches on it the day he installed it.
Peterson said he didn’t want Pontarelli to be helping her changing locks in the bedroom door.
Witness IDs lock he put in Savio’s bedroom door and photo of hole in the wall. He said he didn’t have anything to do with the hole. He IDs scratches on the wall and around the lock from photos.
Last time he saw Savio alive was on Feb 28th when the Pontarellis came back from vacation.
After Peterson saw him helping Savio move some things to his garage, Peterson warned him not to help Savio “Any friend of hers is an enemy of mine,” Drew told him.
Peterson is wearing a blue shirt and dark blue suit in court today.
Now on stand: Kathy Savio neighbor Tom Pontarelli.
Prosecutor Kathy Patton will question the witness.
Witness says Petersons moved in next door in ’99 and asked to ID a photo of Stacy Peterson. Defense objects, judge overrules.
Pontarelli: Savio was going to school to become a nurse. His house and Savio’s were about 15′ apart. They travelled with the Petersons and had bbq’s. He was also aware of the divorce proceedings. Savio asked him to install a lock on her bedroom door. he said he did not put hole in door though.
State is expected to file motion so defense can’t ask about prior DUI from a potential witness who may testify this morning.
Joel Brodsky enters courthouse, talks to press. SA Glasgow walks past cameras.
Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. The prosecution is expected to call more witnesses who observed the scene of Kathleen Savio’s death, including Thomas Pontarelli, paramedic Louis Oleszkiewicz, and locksmith, Robert Akin; plus Chris Wolzen, the supervisor who dispatched the locksmith.
As always, we’ll have our eyes and ears open and will be posting updates. Check back throughout the day for the latest news and don’t forget to check the comment thread.