That ends the arguments for today.
Judge Burmila leaves the bench, and the trial is in recess until 9:00 Friday morning.
Conversation now about lock picking.
Prosecutor Marie Czech argues that the lock pick found at the defendant’s home at the time of his arrest in 2009 is relevant. “We have evidence that the defendant had a lock pick in 2003 that shows he had the ability to enter the home, and to commit the murder.”
Prosecution: “The second issue is whether locksmith Chris Wolzen, the partner of Robert Akin, should be called. We believe that he should be called. Our position is that the defendant’s behavior that night was highly unusual. We think that bypassing the normal procedures for getting a locksmith shows that the defendant was doing something to try to cover up his actions that night.””
Judge: Wolzen can testify, but prosecution can’t talk about lock-pick set unless they can prove that’s how Peterson entered Savio’s home.
Joel Brodsky is asking the judge to bar anything to do with the blue towel seen in evidence photos.
Judge (to prosecution): “I tell you right now, if the aim of the State is to ask every single person who could have moved that towel, I cannot allow that. You will not be able to call a series of witness, have them all say they did not do it, and then point a finger at the defendant and say he must have done it because we didn’t hear from him. It’s absolutely impermissible.”
Judge: “You absolutely cannot do that. That’s a direct comment on the defendant’s right to remain silent. You cannot do that. You CANNOT do that. That’s a direct reflection on his right to remain silent. I’m sorry, but you cannot do that.”
Judge says that there are issues with next witness involving toxicology records.
No additional witnesses today
Attorneys continue to discuss issues of the marital assets, the divorce, and the will.
Judge: “How does Harry Smith’s testimony make any of those statements more believable?”
Koch: “What’s important to know is what the value of the marital state was.”
Judge: “There’s a big difference between A motive and THE motive.”
Attorney Koch wants Smith to testify about factors at the time of the divorce as well as the timeline and documents
Defense argues that putting the lawyer up to testify will result in a “trial within a trial” and they don’t need the law explained by a witness.
Judge: “I know Harry Smith has some other issues, and I’m not ruling about that but he will not be able to testify about the substance of the pre-divorce negotiations, or what Ms. Savio expected to get as a result of the divorce. But Harry Smith, for the other issues he may testify about, the State is allowed to call him.”
Court is back in session. Parks is back on witness stand
Attorney Jim Glasgow begins re-direct.
Why did you call on the pay phone, and not your cell phone? “In nursing school, you’re penalized if you use your phone in the lab area.”
Why didn’t you attend Kathleen Savio’s funeral? “I didn’t know her family. I didn’t know her children. I just knew Kathy.”
Glasgow’s last questions dealt with alleged Peterson threat to Savio: grabbing her by the throat, “why don’t you just die”
Parks apparently began sobbing when Greenberg walked up to her. Jury and Parks both leave room.
Mary Parks re-enters the courtroom, jury follows, court is back in session
Parks on not going to Savio’s wake: “…I did not want to come face to face with her husband.”
Greenberg asks her if she talked to Henry Savio: “We were on the phone for a while. Most of the conversation was Henry talking to me.”
And Henry told you how they looked in all the closets for a briefcase, and couldn’t find it, and finally they found it in her car? “That’s what Henry told me.”
The witness is shown a photograph of Kathleen Savio: Did you know this is her sitting on the tub? “She’s on a tub.” Did you know that picture was taken by the 14-year-old boy who lived next door? Objection/Sustained.
Recross is done.
Attorneys Greenberg and Joe Lopez are in the overflow room, joking with reporters.
According to Greenberg, there is delay due to a proposed stipulation.
The redirect of Mary Parks will start soon. Everyone is assembling in court.
Savio’s son, Kristopher Peterson, is in court today. Defense intern is walking him in to say hello to his father.
(Kristopher turned 18 yesterday and is expected to attempt to withdraw from Savio’s civil suit against his father)
Peterson overheard telling Kris happy birthday and he would not want to see the photographs that were about to be shown of his mom.
Parks: Savio was “anal” about keeping the house locked up. “She carried a telephone with her at all times.”
Greenberg: Do you think she told you things were bad at home to get sympathy? Parks: “Everything she told me, I had no reason to doubt”
Greenberg again points out time discrepancies in reports and Parks again says that she hasn’t seen the reports and didn’t write them. He asks about Savio’s statement about fighting over the Printing business that she had shared with Drew and points out that it was sold in 1999 (before she met Savio). He asks if she thinks Savio she was lying in order to get sympathy. She says, no. He asks her about walking Savio to her car on occasion out of fear or Drew. Did she ever see Drew? She says, no.
More discussion about Savio’s precautions and fears. Parks says that she was afraid Drew would do something to her when she was away from home, that he had someone keeping an eye on her and reporting back to him, that he would tamper with her car. Greenberg asks if she thinks Savio was just being dramatic or paranoid. She says, no.
Parks testifies to how the marks on Savio’s neck looked – three distinct marks.
Greenberg ends cross-examination and they break for lunch.
Joel Brodsky mistakenly objects to question asked of Parks by another defense attorney. There’s lots of laughter.
Greenberg continues to look for discrepancies in Park’s timeline about her calls to authorities and Savio family members. Parks says she thinks that the State Police contacted her in 2007 because of a call she made to a tip line.
Greenberg shows Parks a transcript of her grades (4.0) which shows that she was not in the phlebotomy class at the time that she said she was. She admits that she was mistaken about which class she was in at the time that she met Savio. Greenberg says he’ll move on.
Parks: “I thought we were pretty close” but she didn’t go to the funeral or contact the family after Savio’s death.
Greenberg asks her about a prior abusive relationship she had been in and if it made her feel closer to Savio. Parks says yes. Greenberg asks her if she told Savio to get restraining order or to call the ISP. Parks says she told Savio to call the police.
Greenberg asks Parks if she ever told the ISP that Savio said Drew told her he could kill her and make it look like an accident. She says she believes she did. She was never told about a knife hidden between Savio’s mattresses.
Jury out but Parks tells judge Peterson told Savio “he wants everything” in their divorce, including their kids and house.
Direct examination resumes.
“In October of 2003 . . . she told me that he said that he wants it all; he wants the children, he wants the house, he wants the businesses. He wants everything.”
Questioning of Parks about her discussions with ISP and Prosecutors
Parks: “I don’t know what the state police said that I said, I’ve never seen the reports.”
Parks says she called the State’s Attorney’s office in 2004 to find out if there was investigation into Savio’s death.
Parks did not meet with anyone at State’s Attorney’s office in 2004. Has met with current State’s Atty’s staff “maybe 3 times”
Attorney Greenberg begins cross-examination.
Greenberg on cross: I notice you keep looking over at the jury. Has anyone ever told you to do that? “No.”
Don’t you come from a family of lawyers? “I have some lawyers in my family.”
Judge warns Parks “Don’t fence with counsel.”
Greenberg: So you’re comfortable in testifying? “Yes, somewhat.” In fact, you’re smiling now, aren’t you? “It’s not about that.”
Greenberg questions her about the call she made to the ISP.
“I asked the person who answered the phone if I might speak with someone about Kathy Peterson.”
And what did they say to you? “I was transferred to another person, and it was a woman who told me, ‘That is not under investigation at this time.’ It was something along those lines. I thought about it for a second, and then I said good-bye.”
Greenberg: When you talked to the state police the first time, in August, you never told them you’d called the State’s Attorney’s office? “I have not seen the report, or given the opportunity to examine the veracity of the report. I’m not responsible for what they wrote. It was a female officer, and I believe I did tell her that.”
Greenberg: Are you suggesting the state police are doctoring their reports? “I talked to her, she wrote her report, and I don’t know what she wrote. She asked a question, and I answered it. It seems she made a few notes in a very small notebook.”
Court in session.
Jury is given instruction – State calls Mary Parks to the stand
Judge tells jurors that Parks testimony should only be considered as to his motive and intent.
Parks IDs photo of Kathleen Savio, tells how they met in nursing school and would study together.
Parks saw Savio in November 2003 wearing a shirt that covered her neck. “I saw marks on her neck…dark red color”
Savio showed marks on her neck, said Peterson entered house, grabbed by neck, pinned down, said “Why don’t you just die?”
Parks offered for Kathy Savio and her two sons to come live with her after seeing bruises on Kathy’s neck.
Objection. Parks removed from stand, jurors taken out of courtroom.
Defense wants statement that Savio would walk with Parks through parking lot because she was scared of Peterson struck.
Judge says no discovery violation and statements about alleged threats by Peterson to Savio can be heard.
Parks: “Kathy told me that her husband, Drew Peterson, said that he could ‘kill her, and maker her disappear.’
Jury and witness pulled out again.
The defense wants emails between Dr. Baden and Mark Fuhrman but the Prosecution says they don’t have any.
State Prosecutor Colleen Griffin asks for the motion to be denied: “I don’t know of any case where somebody’s been barred from testifying because they might be subject to cross-examination. Additionally, just out of fairness, we believe two of the proposed experts that the defendant is going to have testify can be impeached by prior statements they have made.”
Judge seems in good mood, pushing for quick drafting of a legal instruction for jury, saying “we really need fingers of fury.”
Discussion over proposed jury instruction regarding Mary Park’s testimony.
Defendant’s motion is overruled. Brief recess while the instruction is typed up.
People entering the courtroom. Should be underway soon.
Judge Burmila has taken the bench. “Good morning, everyone. I received a letter yesterday from an inmate in the Illinois Department of Corrections that he has information linking this case with Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and the Zimmerman case. I won’t be communicating with him.”
Attorney Greenberg challenges something about the upcoming testimony of Mary Parks, but the Judge allows it.
The disputed statement has something to do with “grabbing her throat” and Peterson wanting everything in the divorce.
The judge won’t allow the part about what Drew Peterson wanted from the divorce.
judge Burmilla says that anything to move the case along would be helpful.
Discussion about the motion regarding Dr. Baden and the allegation that he determined Savio’s death was a homicide before actually performing an autopsy.
Greenberg thinks that FOX paid Baden to come to a conclusion that they wanted and that Dr. Blum could have been influenced by his (then) uninformed opinion.
Defense asks for records from pathologist Baden.
Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. Yesterday Retired ISP Sergeant Patrick Collins and Savio classmate, Krsitin Anderson testified. There were plenty of courtroom fireworks with a fierce battle over the introduction of Anderson’s hearsay statements and a cross-examination by Joe Lopez that elicited an audible groan from the courtroom and a look of disgust on at least one juror.
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.