Drew Peterson trial – Day three: Mistrial denied. EMTs, firefighters and locksmith testify

A blue towel, not seen at the death scene by witnesses but later photographed by investigators, was the subject of much of today’s testimony.

UPDATE 04:00:

Cross-examination concludes.
Witness is excused after brief re-direct question about placement of electrodes.
Attorney Connor asks for a sidebar.
Judge informs jurors that testimony has concluded for the day, they are excused.
Judge Burmila grants the State leave to file a motion regarding the alleged 25k hit man who Peterson attempted to hire. Defense has been given until Aug. 8 to address the motion.
Judge leaves bench and court is adjourned for the day.

UPDATE 03:21:

Prosecution calls paramedic Michael Johnson, firefighter paramedic with the Bolingbrook FD who also was at Kathy Savio’s house the night body found.
Peterson spoke to Johnson “be respectful to the scene as we entered up the stairs”
Johnson denies putting towel by Savio’s body
He probably wouldn’t recognize the house if he saw it again. Witness says he never worked on Savio’s body.
Johnson steps down.
Prosecution calls Timothy Berkeley, firefighter/paramedic
Berkery was Louis Oleszkiewicz’s partner on ambulance the night
Berkery said Peterson asked for “professional courtesy” for his ex-wife.
Guess what? Berkery says he didn’t put the blue towel by the body, either.
He’s “100% sure”

UPDATE 03:12:

State calls Michael Newton, who works for Bolingbrook Fire Department.
Newton was in charge of the scene the night Savio’s body was found.
Peterson asked Newton to treat the scene with respect. “This is my ex-wife.”
Newton is 100 percent certain that he did not place any towels at Savio death scene.
Defense cross-examination
Newton said he knew Peterson for over 20 years
Newton says Peterson “did seem upset”
Under re-direct Newton says again that he did not place the mystery towel on the bathtub.
Newton steps down from stand

UPDATE 02:57:

Judge Burmila has asked Attorney Joe Lopez to stop tweeting during the trial.
Judge: witness can discuss the timeline of events, but not speculate on what the outcome of a future scheduled hrg would be.
Harry Smith may not testify.
Defense asking about Smith’s undisclosed testimony. Goes to credibility.

UPDATE 02:49:

Judge: “The fact that she was not there at the trial and the trial isn’t held does not necessarily extinguish her interests.”
Judge: “You can’t say she was going to get everything she wanted, and the only way she’d get everything was if she was there.”
Judge: “Once they were divorced, pension became an asset of their marital estate and it was going to be resolved.”
Connor: “Judge White’s previous ruling was that he would have to find that Kathleen Savio was murdered to prevent her testifying at a specific hearing”
Judge: “The State’s argument is absolutely incorrect…you have perverted Judge White’s ruling 100%.”
Greenberg: “I believe the hearsay statement they’d like this (witness) to testify to was found unreliable by Judge White.”
Greenberg: “I don’t think he’s got any relevancy at this point; I don’t know what it is that they want him to testify to.”
Greenberg: “they can’t use this to show Mr. Peterson’s state of mind in any way.”

UPDATE 02:33:

Connor argues that jury has to consider financial motives of the divorce.
Connor referencing Savio’s death “if I’m dead, I’m certainly less of a threat to the other side”
Connor “Ms. Savio was long dead by the time the case was set for trial.”
Judge “these parties were divorced, & they entered into an agreement, the issues were already agreed upon, were they not?”
Connor: “They were going to be addressed at the April 6 hearing . . . but one party was dead by then,”
Connor “the bar was a subject of dispute in the case . . whether that was or was not marital property was still in dispute”
Debate is over what was at issue in divorce when Kathy Savio died, what Peterson knew about how estate would be settled.
State: Kathy Savio disadvantage in divorce case b/c she was dead. Judge: Just because it makes logical sense, doesn’t mean it makes legal sense

UPDATE 01:25:

Prosecutors are explaining to the judge what they want to ask Harry Smith, a cautionary move before he takes the stand.
Prosecutors call Harry Smith, Kathy Savio’s divorce attorney.
Smith still hasn’t taken the stand.
(The judge has said he’ll force Smith to answer questions about talks he had with Savio he still considers privileged.)
Attorney John Connor says some of Smith’s testimony includes prior bad acts and issues of “mental cruelty.”
Connor tells judge the witness may be asked about what statements were to be brought in during the divorce trial.
State: Smith will show motive was to stop Savio from testify in divorce.

UPDATE 01:25:

Court back in session. Jury about to come in.
Cross examination of locksmith, Robert Akin
Attorney Joel Brodsky begins cross of witness. Witness talks about his background and resume as a locksmith.
“Authority has to be involved…I just don’t do that” Akin discussing wellness check calls
“All I know is that Sergeant Peterson requested a wellness check”
“I assumed he wanted me to be there instead of Chris” (other locksmith, Christopher Wolzen)
Witness says he was not on call the night of Peterson’s call.
Looking at photo, witness doesn’t remember the screen door being there. Witness is shown the police report to help remember.
After reading report, witness “It looks like he (Peterson) was holding the door for me.”
Akin steps down from the stand

UPDATE 12:05:

Akin: Peterson was standing behind him holding a flashlight.
Other people who were there went into the house before Peterson.
Akin: Heard screams inside house. Peterson said “I’ve gotta go.”
Akin: I got the heck out of Dodge.
This was a “wellness check.” Each check is different, no one was charged for this service this time.
Lunch break. Court resumes 1:30

UPDATE 11:45:

The state calls locksmith Robert Akin, the locksmith who was used to enter Kathleen’s home.
Akin is owner of Larry’s Lock Service. Occasionally works for Bolingbrook Police.
Akin has been the owner of his locksmith company since 1978. When he unlocks a door for a wellness check, the police officers usually go in to make sure all is well. Police are normally there by the time Akin arrives.
Akin has known Peterson for close to 30 years. “I see him through business dealings…I know him” “One time he [Peterson] had a bar…we changed the locks there”
Peterson was wearing his uniform when he arrived at Savio’s home.
“I did not see any lights”
“first thing I noticed was the lock was upside down”
“I went to pick the lock but it had no resistance” “it was clearly unlocked”
“Door knob was locked, but deadbolt wasn’t locked. “Wow, this is unlocked.”

UPDATE 11:37:

Savio divorce attorney Harry Smith in hallway. He may be called as witness earlier than thought.
Court is in a brief break to work out an electronic problem.

UPDATE 11:23:

Prosecution redirect of Louis Oleszkiewcz.
EMT says he’s positive towel in photo of Savio body was not there when he worked on her.
EMT says the hand towels that were in Savio bathroom were not big enough for someone to use after bathing.
Defense recross: Asks if there was shampoo or conditioner in the tub. Chuckles heard in courtroom
Oleszkiewcz steps down from stand
The jury is excused due to “equipment malfunction” in the courtroom. Judge off the bench.

UPDATE 10:50:

Greenberg begins cross of EMT.
When he arrived at scene, 2 other EMTs and police already there.
EMT says he’s not trained to know how long a body has been at a crime scene.
EMT says “waxy” texture is more of a visual appearance than physical.
EMT is asked to ID other items in the bathroom from a photo.
Oleszkiewicz did not see Peterson in the bathroom while he was on the scene.
Defense cross-exam moves from location of towels to medicine chest (Zoloft, Celebrex, Sudafed)
Defense has also brought up other items in Savio bathroom medic didn’t notice – glasses, open contact case.
In State Police report: Medic said Peterson “appeared sad about death of his wife,” his eyes red.

UPDATE 10:26:

First witness of the day, Louis Oleszkiewicz, Bolingbrook firefighter and paramedic.
Oleszkiewicz says he was called to the Savio home. He received a call at 10:49 pm for an “unresponsive female.” He arrived 4 minutes later.
There was no activity in the heart.”She felt cold to the touch, waxy and dry. Her hair was matted”
Witness uses a laser pointer to indicate things in photo. “This towel [blue towel] right here was not there that evening” even after leaving and coming back to Savio’s bathroom.
Witness says he spoke to police 3 or 6 days after the incident. He IDs Peterson in court. He says he recalls Peterson being upstairs.
Attorneys ask for a sidebar.

UPDATE 10:16:

Defense is now trying to help edit the judge’s jury instruction. They want stronger wording against the state.
Judge adding “or anything regarding a bullet” to jury instruction.
State to call three paramedics who responded to Savio’s house when her body was found.
Jurors are entering the courtroom.
Judge Burmilla tells the jury they cannot consider the bullet statement

UPDATE 09:57:

Judge Burmila: I told them (the jurors) not to pay attention if one side objects.” “The defendant’s ability to have a fair trial has not been extinguished.”
Motion for a mistrial denied. Jury to be instructed to ignore disputed testimony. Judge says that striking all of Pontarelli’s testimony has the potential to hurt Peterson. Prosecution asked the question knowingly but they did not intend to cause a mistrial.
No reaction from Drew Peterson.
Short recess.

UPDATE 09:50:

In response to Koch’s arguments, Atty Greenberg reacts “Wow! This is a wow moment…I’m geniunely shocked…it’s our fault?”
State asks the judge to deny the motion for a mistrial and says “we’re ready to proceed.”
Greenberg: “They (the prosecution) don’t know the rules of evidence, and I’m sorry, they don’t think they have to follow them” “Rules say they’re supposed to give us notice, character evidence, in a reasonable amount of time before trial.” “I’ve been practicing for 27 years and I’ve never seen people who think they could just ignore the rules and do whatever they want” “If you let this trial go on, it’s going to be an unfair trial.”

UPDATE 09:25:

Court is in session
Peterson attorneys renew motion for mistrial with prejudice. They don’t want to start over.
Attorney Greenberg imitates Glasgow’s voice while complaining about hit man comment in prosecution’s opening statement.
Defense: “They are trying to show everyone is afraid of Mr. Peterson. What evidence do they have that he did something?” “So far we have a jury that thinks that everyone is afraid of Mr. Peterson. How is that fair to Mr. Peterson?”
Prosecutor Chris Koch responds that Judge White never “barred” previous bad acts, i.e. bullet in driveway.
Judge White on In Session just responded by saying the “bullet” never came up while he was trial judge.
Prosecution will file a motion to admit the alleged $25k hit man testimony that got them in trouble during opening statements.

UPDATE 09:04:

Peterson is at the defense table smiling and talking to atty Lopez. Prosecutors have just arrived, Glasgow talking with deputies.
Atty Greenberg: “Nothing’s happening. The judge is going to deny our motion. And then…they’ll (the prosecution) will screw up again.”
Atty Glasgow: The claims by defense that prosecutors are trying to goad judge into declaring a mistrial are “absolutely false.”
Attorneys are speaking with the judge. Court hasn’t started yet

Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. Yesterday, the introduction of barred testimony by Savio friend and neighbor, Thomas Pontarelli, resulted in a request for a mistrial.

Judge Burmila angrily admonished the Prosecution for their actions and is considering a mistrial with prejudice, although he also suggested to the Defense the alternative of simply barring all of Pontarelli’s testimony. Court was adjourned to allow the Defense to deliberate and for both teams to consult case-law. This morning a decision is expected to either continue with sanctions for the Prosecution or declare a mistrial.

If the trial does in fact go forward, the Prosecution is expected to call more witnesses who observed the scene of Kathleen Savio’s death, including a paramedic Louis Oleszkiewicz, a locksmith, Robert Akin, and 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.

We’re following:
Jon Seidel
Adam Grimm
In Session
Glenn Marshall
Diane Pathieu
Kara Oko
Beth Karas

~By commenting you agree to be bound by the rules of this blog. You can contact admins directly by sending an email to petersonstory@gmail.com.~


94 thoughts on “Drew Peterson trial – Day three: Mistrial denied. EMTs, firefighters and locksmith testify

  1. Last night Greenberg was saying that he didn’t think the mistrial would happen at this time, but that eventually they will get one.

    Yet they are really pushing for it this morning.

  2. Greenberg is a bit childish, in my opinion. The defense seems to be hoping for a mistrial rather than seeing this through, I think they think Drew did it too.

  3. they all want that “I am a good lawyer” out there. if publicity is their only pay, they have to make news even when there isn’t any.
    Like I said, they seem very childish to me. I think they are pushing for a mistrial because they feel it is the only way to win.

  4. With all of this drama going on, it really bugs me that this jury is not sequestered (that I am aware of). I just don’t believe that people will follow an instruction to not watch news.

    I have such a bad feeling about this trial.

  5. Beth Karas was just reminding us of testimony that might not get into trial. In May 2004 after coroner’s jury decided that Savio’s death was an accident, Kathleen’s sister (not sure if sue or anna) called Drew and gave him the news. His reaction was positively “giddy”.

  6. Karas also mentioned that Defense is probably going to try to say that she was taking a bath Sunday morning when she fell.

    I recall testimony from hearsay hearing about a glass of orange juice on a kitchen counter and a used condom found in the kitchen garbage (although I thought she didn’t see Maniaci Saturday night so why that would figure into anything…)

    I suppose we’ll get to all that eventually.

  7. Drew was with Tom Pontarelli the whole time? Tom would confirm that?

    Why didn’t the defense make sure that the jurors heard that while he was on the stand?


  8. Sheesh…. So glad the locksmith was having so much fun in court. This is a murder trial for god’s sake!

    I always thought he was friends with Drew.

  9. I was just listening to that too, Harley.

    Apparently the locksmith was sort of jovial and jokey in court. When he ID’d Peterson for the court and described how he was dressed he threw in “Nice tie!” and his “heck out of dodge” comment got a big laugh in the courtroom. He and Peterson exchanged a smile when he stepped down.

    There’s one person in the room who has a particularly loud laugh.

    The EMT referred to Drew as “Sergeant Peterson” which the examiners then began to use when referring to him.

  10. The court sketch artist described how it in court it seems like Peterson tries to make eye contact with people in court. Her sense is that he looks around and reaches out for support.

    This reminded me of the time I was shopping at the Bolingbrook Ikea and on a whim decided to drive down Pheasant Chase and look at the house at #6. (Don’t judge me. I was curious) Peterson was in his garage and as I drove by, he stopped what he was doing and looked pointedly at the car, not in a menacing way but almost like he was curious and interested – like he was open to any contact that might come his way.

    I almost waved.

    At any rate, I think I know exactly the look she is talking about because that was also the sense I got during that encounter (if it even qualifies as one).

  11. Brodsky is going to be on In Session coming up. I just don’t get it. He is in the middle of a trial.

    Nevermind… I guess some things will never change!

  12. Brodsky admitted that the “Stacy Who?” press conference was callous and a bad idea. He sort of apologized. At least he said he didn’t mean to demean anyone’s feelings or thoughts about their loved one. Whatever that means.

    You know how it is when Joel talks — there’s not a complete sentence to be found.

  13. It will be interesting to see how Burmila rules on the prosecution’s motion to admit the hit man testimony. Is Burmila going to have his Robyn Adams moment and deny the motion, or will he allow the testimony that is clearly part of Peterson’s plan to rid himself of his “problem?” Last year in Orlando, a judge clearly kept out evidence that made the defendant appear too guilty under the guise of it being to prejudicial. This will be a litmus test to see where the judge in this trial stands.

  14. The judge is going to “force” Kathleen’s lawyer to answer? Does that mean the judge wants the private discussion he had with this attorney part of the record, as well? I wish we could see and hear this. Maybe I’m reading more into the statement from
    the judge.
    I’m reading above and was able to catch the last few minutes of InSession. Why would the locksmith “assume” Drew wanted him to be there, despite not being on call? It suggests a closer “friendship” between the two. IMO If I were a juror, I would assume this t, especially with the joking around.

  15. I believe the judge can force the attorney to answer if he has to. The attorney-client privilege ceases upon the death of the client. Brodsky, or any defense attorney, cannot claim that privilege for someone who has passed on.

    MODE EDIT: Please check your facts more closely before posting. This is incorrect. Judge Burmila deemed that Harry Smith’s attorney-client privilege was waived by Savio when she asked him to reach out to authorities in the event anything happened to her.
    At the same time, he decided that once the privilege was waived, it was waived completely and the defense could ask him about any and all conversations with Savio.

  16. Folks, please fact check before making assertions. Discussion need to be based on factual information so that we can meet on common ground without confusion. Non-factual comments may be edited or removed.
    Thanks for your understanding!

  17. Judge: “Once they were divorced, pension became an asset of their marital estate and it was going to be resolved.”

    Once she was dead Drew retained everything and there was nothing to resolve.

  18. The question is whether or not the defense attorneys can claim this privilege for Savio, and I don’t believe they can. Now, the real question is whether or not Savio’s attorney can claim the privilege for Savio. I have not heard if her attorney is making that claim. All I have heard is the members of the defense team making it, and if they are the ones making it, they have no legal; basis to do that.

  19. “Judge Burmila deemed that Harry Smith’s attorney-client privilege was waived by Savio when she asked him to reach out to authorities in the event anything happened to her.

    At the same time, he decided that once the privilege was waived, it was waived completely and the defense could ask him about any and all conversations with Savio.”

    Okay, so she waived it when she told her attorney to do that if something happened to her. So why is the judge saying he has to force him to do it? How has her attorney responded to this? (if you know)

  20. Right. Basically, the Judge waived the privilege completely although Harry Smith only wanted to testify specifically to what Kathleen asked him to say. He doesn’t agree with the Judge’s ruling and it’s not known if he’ll obey the judge if questioned by the defense. The defense wants to make him testify about the two assualt/battery charges where he represented her. Their conversations about those cases might show that was not truthful in court.

    If you want more background on recent rulings on this here are a few threads to look at:




  21. GOOD! I’m glad the judge told Lopez to stop tweeting.
    I thought it was inappropriate, glad the judge thought so too! 🙂

  22. Thanks, facs. It appears that her attorney, Harry Smith, does not agree with the conclusion Burmila reached about the privilege. I wonder why. If he was her attorney, it seems that he would want to help her out, especially when she told him to assist the authorities if something happened to her. This may be another one for the Illinois Supreme Court.

  23. Robert, I think he absolutely wants to help her out.

    He wants to testify to what she told him to tell people. That she was afraid of Drew, that he said he would kill her and make it look like an accident.

    What he probably doesn’t want to talk about is the stuff that the defense may want to ask him about – like possible perjury.

    I think he believes that his client waived the privilege only in regards to what she asked him to talk about. But Judge Burmila doesn’t see it that way.

  24. Okay, yes, I can see where questions from the defense trying to trash her, as they have been doing all along, would be a problem for him. He’s got to find a way to answer some questions while not answering others.

    The question is whether he can claim the privilege for some questions and not others. I take it that Burmila’s statement about forcing him to testify, then, is largely forcing him to answer questions from the defense he may not want to answer.

  25. Thank you, Facs, for keeping us up to speed. Why should we be assuming Kathleen perjured herself in regards to alleged assaults? Did I miss something?

  26. I think the gist of it was that in court she denied hitting Stacy but in conversations with Smith admitted that she did hit her. I’m not sure since we’ve never heard exactly what it is the defense wants to make him say. Whatever it is, Brodsky seems to think it would be a great way to question her credibility and put the hearsay statements in to question too.

  27. I gave up on trying to figure out what they were arguing about in regards to Harry Smith today, though.

    At this point I’m ready to just wait and see what happens when they call him.

  28. Couldn’t Harry Smith at least testify to a list of the marital assets, with their value? It’s quite a bit. You don’t need to say exactly what the split would be, only that it represented what the couple’s marital value was. A general question as to Illinois division of assests would allow the jury to do their own math.

  29. No sure how it would go down, but bringing up Stacy and Kathleen quarreling continues to point out to the jury that wife number four isn’t sitting in the courtroom.

  30. Lopez loves his Twitter followers. I thought the judge previously told them not to Tweet. I will admit, I read all of the updates I can find, including Lopez’s tweets.

  31. If it weren’t for all the people tweeting in the overflow room and outside court, I wouldn’t have any content at all.

    Thank god for social media and determined tweeters!

  32. Drew seemed to make it a point to ask everyone at the scene for “professional courtesy” since this was his ex-wife. I can’t help but wonder what that meant to Drew.

    Maybe I am just too cynical of him, but in my mind I tend to think it was his way of doing things (or lack of doing things) the way he wanted.

  33. This was a “wellness check.” Each check is different, no one was charged for this service this time.

    Soooooo, the locksmith gets called out on supposed official business of a police wellness check and no one was charged for this service.

    Why is that – is that explained anywhere ?

  34. Wasn’t it Joel who said way back when on SYM or somewhere that Drew called a locksmith because he didn’t want to have to pay $400 to replace the door?
    So why was he so certain that he wouldn’t get a bill from the locksmith for picking the lock? How much does that usually cost?

    I think I remember the locksmith saying that he didn’t always charge when he did police calls. Seeing as he’s known Drew for 30 years and that Drew was in uniform that night, maybe he thought it was a police call? And isn’t that how he makes his living? Why wouldn’t he send them a bill? It took about 15 minutes to pick the lock so it wasn’t a negligible job. A quick Google shows an after-ours lockpick running about $100-200 dollars.

    And since Mr Akin “got the heck out of there” when he heard the screaming, I’m not going to assume that he knew Peterson’s ex-wife was found dead in the house – only that somthing dramatic was happening inside. Why wouldn’t he bill the BBPD?

  35. What I garnered from the locksmith’s testimony was that Drew seemed to know him well, and did NOT go through the proper channels on the night Kathleen was found. No, he personally and privately called Robert Akin, who was NOT on call that particular night.
    After reading about the familiarity between him and Drew and the misplaced hilarity from Mr. Akin, I’m finding myself shaking my head and thinking again, “Something else is wrong about that night.”

  36. He testified that he was in “locksmith mode” which gave him a kind of tunnel vision. He was so focused on the task that he paid little attention to anything or anyone else around him.

  37. A first-hand recount of Akin’s testimony at the hearsay hearings indicates that he gave the same testimony then as he did today. He did say then that he doesn’t always charge. Huh?

    Got a call, not sure if it was Drew or dispatch, wellness check. Never charged the police dept., but that was normal, some times he does charge, not always. Had trobule getting the lock open, took maybe 15 minutes. Did not pay attention to who was there or conversation. It was dark out, not sure what time he got the call or when he left. Has done this for over 30 yrs. Drew was there, known Drew or years.

  38. Drew specifically asked for Bob, even though he was not on call that night. He talked to Chris Wolzen who he also knew well (17 years). Why did he insist on it being Bob who came out?

    More first-hand recollection from Hearsay hearing testimony:

    yes, Chris Wolven was on the stand, he was on call the night Katleen was found, but he did not go out to the house, he was never asked to. When Drew called he asked for Bob and chris gave Drew Bobs cell number. He had no idea what happened after that. The only thing he was confused on is when the call came…He was calm & collected. He has known Drew 17 yrs and has done work for him before. So it was Bob that went to kathleens that night. He said that BPD called for locksmith use on wellness checks, etc, but it was usually dispatch that called, not Drew.He thought that the call asking for Bob was not unusal or anything to be concerned about. I heard that Drew pulled him over one day asking for bob, no date given on that, just that it happened once. He first thought Drews call came at 7pm, but later restated that it might have been later, more like 9pm. (this was larrys locksmith services)

  39. And Joel was busy tainting the jury pool back in 2008, of course:

    Author Topic: Q & A for joel Brodsky
    May 25, 2008, 9:50am

    Q: Does Drew have a lock pick set and can he pick a lock?

    A. Yes he has alot of tools, which includes what can loosely be described as a lock pick set. He has owned it, along with the other tools, for many years. A lock expert we consulted at Speckin Forensic Labs told us that so called lock pick kits are a joke inside the locksmith industry. Even an experienced locksmith will take along time, sometimes as long as an hour, trying to pick a lock with the lockpick tools in such a set. The expert told us that if someone who is not an experienced locksmith tried to pick a lock they would take from 4 to 6 hours at best, and even longer, to pick a lock, and they probably wouldn’t succeed. To answer the rest of your question, Drew does not know how to pick a lock. Your next question will be why did he get it. He got it as part of his police duties because as a Sgt. he was called to alot of “welfare checks” where they had to enter a house to check on the resident and he always disliked having to break the door locks and cost people money in having to get new locks, so he got the tools to try to see if could get in without breaking lock. It never worked and after a few trys he stopped and put the tools in a drawer and they have been collecting dust since then.

  40. He said that BPD called for locksmith use on wellness checks, etc, but it was usually dispatch that called, not Drew.

    There seems to be a bit of a grey area if Drew was acting on behalf of BB Police Department or totally his own initiative that night.

    Is it part of procedure at BB Police Department to round up neighbours, friends to be sent first into a home as part of a wellbeing check, whilst Police waits outside to see what is found in there ???

  41. Sneed is told the two sons of murder victim Kathleen Savio , Kristopher and Thomas, are planning to show up at the trial of their father, who is accused of drowning Savio in a bathtub. The two are also on the list of possible witnesses.


    Since when are witnesses allowed to also be courtroom observers? I’m calling B.S.


    Kristopher, who just graduated from Bolingbrook High School, plans to sever himself from the wrongful death suit filed on his behalf by Savio’s father and sister—next Wednesday, Aug. 8, the day he turns 18 and is no longer considered a minor.

  42. As for the towel placement, bear in mind that Tom Pontarelli testified to this yesterday:

    He and Peterson stayed upstairs and waited for paramedics. Everyone else went downstairs…


    He, wife Mary and Steve Carcerano went to Steve’s house

    So despite what Joe Lopez might be trying to suggest it looks as if only Tom and Drew were in the house to wait for the paramedics. Everyone else went downstairs.

    Then after the paramedics did their job, everyone but Drew went to the Carecerano’s house. At that point, they have all testifed that there was no towel on the tub and that none of them placed it.

    That leaves Drew alone in house when the evidence technicians arrive and at the point when photos are being taken, suddenly there IS a towel on the tub.

    That only leaves one person who could have placed it.

  43. Huh? Potential witnesses shouldn’t be allowed to come in the courtroom unless they are called to testify. That is like allowing suspects to be in the same room together while being questioned like Drew with Stacy so they can hear what the other is saying. Joel might as well put them on the stand and tell them to repeat after him whatever he tells them to say. If the judge allows that , it is just wrong!

  44. Joe Lopez
    “We are done we now know towel placed on bathtub was put there after EMT and Drew left bathroom”

    Haha, sorry that tweet made me laugh !

    So after EMT and Drew left the bathroom, someone placed a towel there – WHY ? – so Kathy could get up and dry herself after she’d been curled up dead in her bathtub for two days ??

    Also who would know where towels are kept in a strangers house……..

  45. George and Cindy Anthony were in the courtroom every day of the trial even though they were also witnesses. I don’t know how it works in Illinois, but in Florida, survivors of the victim are allowed to be in the courtroom whenever they want even if they are going to testify..

    The defense objected to the Anthonys being in the courtroom, so a hearing was had to resolve the issue; the judge ruled that they were allowed to be there even though they were also witnesses. Since they are talking about Kathleen’s two sons, I would imagine that Illinois is much the same as Florida. If one side or the other objects, they may have to have a hearing on it as well

  46. The paramedic who testified on Thursday at the murder trial of Drew Peterson, a former police officer accused of killing his third wife, said her body was cold and waxy in the bathtub where he found her…

    …The testimony from paramedic Louis Oleszkiewicz came after Will County Judge Edward Burmila rejected a second request this week from defense attorneys to declare a mistrial.

    There is little physical evidence linking Peterson to the death of Savio, so prosecutors have been trying to introduce testimony this week including statements that he made threats and tried to hire a hit man.
    Defense attorneys have objected to the testimony as hearsay and have moved unsuccessfully for a mistrial twice.

    Oleszkiewicz described finding Savio’s body when he was dispatched to her home in March 2004 to assist an unresponsive woman.
    Like Savio’s next-door neighbor, Thomas Pontarelli, who testified on Wednesday, Oleszkiewicz said he does not remember a blue towel that appears in photos of the crime scene, being there when he first arrived at the home.

    Oleszkiewicz also said there was no “sediment ring” in the bathtub and that only officers from the Chicago suburban Bolingbrook Police Department — not state troopers or investigators — were at the house when he was arrived. Peterson is a former Bolingbrook policeman.
    Locksmith Robert Akin also testified on Thursday. Akin said that on the night Savio’s body was found, he did not know whose house he was opening or why he was opening it.

    Akin said he was met at the house by Peterson, who was in uniform. He picked the doorknob lock, which could be locked from the outside without a key. A deadbolt that needed a key to lock from the outside was unlocked, he said.

    Once the door was opened, Akin said, people he did not know went inside. Akin recalled staying on the porch. He said that while he packed his tools he was “chit-chatting” with Peterson.

    Shortly after opening the door, Akin said, “There was, like a lot of commotion, screaming.”

    Peterson then “just looked and said, ‘I got to go,'” and went in the house, Akin said.


  47. “Once the door was opened, Akin said, people he did not know went inside. Akin recalled staying on the porch. He said that while he packed his tools he was “chit-chatting” with Peterson”

    Oh Wow, this is getting worse and worse.

    “chit-chatting” on the porch with Peterson whilst neighbours and friends went inside the house (!)

    What was that again about showing “professional courtesy” ?

  48. “Locksmith Robert Akin also testified on Thursday. Akin said that on the night Savio’s body was found, he did not know whose house he was opening or why he was
    opening it.”

    How strange is that ??

    Drew calls a locksmith because he is so worried about his wife inside, yet doesn’t tell the man it is his house ???

  49. People have been asking about jury sequester. I asked Joe Lopez and he replied:

    “not yet because state defendant did not ask its a non issue. During deliberations may be sequestered”

  50. “Locksmith Robert Akin also testified on Thursday. Akin said that on the night Savio’s body was found, he did not know whose house he was opening or why he was
    opening it.”

    Soooo, that also leads me to another pretty scary observation – when Drew rings up this locksmith, he just turns up and picks the lock on anyones house – no questions asked ???

    Not only does he pick anyones lock as requested by Drew, he doesn’t charge anyone either…….

  51. Bear in mind JAH, that Peterson was in uniform and on duty at the time and he had known Peterson for 30 years.

    Wonder that he said he didn’t know why he was going there when I think at some other point he testified that he was told it was a well-being check. Maybe Drew told him once he got there.

  52. “Bear in mind JAH, that Peterson was in uniform and on duty at the time and he had known Peterson for 30 years”

    That makes it all the more incredulous that the locksmith didn’t know whose house he was opening, that it was Drews own house (!) and that Drew didn’t tell him that either.

    I wonder what the locksmith was thinking when he found that out ……

  53. Ok, so Akin that knew Drew for how many years, didn’t know this was his soon to be ex wives house? Yeah right! I agree JAH! I am not buying that for one minute. For one.. the first thing a locksmith usually does is ask you, is this your home, car etc. I do not believe that Drew didn’t tell him he was supposedly doing a well being check on his kids mother because he hasn’t heard from her. He told the neighbors why wouldn’t he tell the locksmith he knew for 30 yrs? Something is not adding up.

  54. One last bit from the In Session Facebook page:

    The prosecution made a good point with at least one juror when a photo of the deadbolt on savio’s bedroom door was displayed in court. one of the male jurors visibly startled at the strangeness of seeing that type of lock on an interior door, the implication being this was clearly a woman who was fearful.

  55. Just now catching up with all the trial news. In just these first few witnesses, so many questions have been raised!

    1. Why did Drew chit chat with the locksmith if he was so concerned about getting that house unlocked and doing a wellness check?

    2. When Mary screamed, why didn’t Drew respond to a woman screaming with his gun drawn? For all he knew she could have confronted an intruder hiding in the house. He knew what Mary saw and why she was screaming and that’s why no gun drawn.

    3. Where were Kathy’s clothes she had taken off in preparation of taking a bath?

    4. Why no bath towel or bath mat? Until they suddenly appear later, in time for the crime scene photos.

    5. Why no fresh clothing laid out?

    6. According to the artist sketch of the crime scene photo, Kathy is lying in a fetal position with her head almost face down. Yet, from what I understand, the laceration is on the back of her head, suggesting she fell backwards.

    7. The locksmith said that the deadbolt was not locked. This suggests that someone left the house, putting the doorknob into “lock” position and closing the door. But couldn’t put the deadbolt lock on as they would have to be inside to lock the deadbolt. Did Drew exit the house in this manner?

    These are questions I hope the state brings up and incorporates into their closing argument to the jury, along with the circumstantial evidence yet to be presented.

  56. I am curious as to why Drew Petersen was in uniform that particular night. Was he on duty? I thought he was trying to drop his kids off. Where were the kids? Were they in his cruiser? I don’t know if this has been addressed previously. Once again, thanks for this blog.

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