Drew Peterson trial – day nine. Another motion for mistrial! Take the poll.

UPDATE 03:00:

Peterson attorneys and prosecutors are making their way back to the courtroom now.
Both sets of attorneys are going into the courtroom. The trial should be resuming shortly.
Patton: “First of all I would like to apologize to the court for my error. It was not my team’s error but my error.”
Prosecutor Kathy Patton apologizes and asks that any sanctions be given to her personally and not the state.
Prosecutors want to strike the question. No prejudice, they say. “Fleeting comment.”
Prosecution: “There is no prejudice against the defendant because there was no answer given”
Judge Burmilla acknowledges that Patton spoke in error but: “Have you ever seen a case file where the state purposely went against court orders?”
Judge asks prosecutors if he should ignore earlier breaches (the hitman, the .38 bullet) when making his ruling today. Prosecution says “yes.”
Peterson attorney: “It’s an avalanche, your honor, of prejudicial error. Not error, but prejudicial, illegal evidence”
Brodsky: “Believe it or not, I have read the Bill of Rights and there isn’t one thing that protects the rights of the State..”
Prosecutor Koch: “Isolation is the proper way to look at it, Your Honor.”
judge says Defense attorney remedy would penalize the state and deny the people of Will County a fair trial.
Judge calls prosecution’s mistakes “shenanigans” and said people could logically infer the mistake was intentional.
Prosecutor Connor then offers a citation, “People v. Hall,” a 2000 case. “In that case, there were two violations of the Court’s motion in limine. I’d certainly argue that under these circumstances this would be far less of a violation.”
Greenberg: “I actually think the only remedy at this point is a mistrial with prejudice.”
Peterson atty Greenberg says Peterson doesn’t feel like he should have to go through another trial after so many errors by the state.
Judge says he will rule on mistrial tomorrow morning.

UPDATE 02:00:

Did Savio say why she did not file a report on that day? “Yes, she did not file a report . . . she felt the defendant was unstable. And she felt that if she did, in fact, report it, he would deny what she said.”
State asks Kernc if Savio mentioned anything about an order of protection. Defense objects, sidebar. Jury and witness pulled.
Burmila is taking state’s attorney to task for raising issue of an order of protection, when he decided it was not admissible.
Prosecutor Kathy Patton says “It’s my fault. I didn’t intend for it to be harmful to the defense. I don’t know what else to say.”
Brodsky: either we have a mistrial with prejudice or we strike all of Kernc’s testimony.
Prosecutor says she had the question written down before judge barred it. She didn’t mean to, but judge says it doesn’t matter.
Judge: “I could have you held in contempt right now but I’m not going to do it.”
Court in recess until 3 p.m. CST for state suggested remedies.
Patton was seen in another courtroom against the jury box with her head in her hands.

UPDATE 01:30:

Drew Peterson and both sets of attorneys are in the courtroom but no spectators yet.
Court is back in session, attorneys are arguing motions for the next witness.
Next witness to the stand with be former BBPD officer Teresa Kernc.
Judge tells jury to listen carefully to the next testimony. It will include information about other conduct the defendant may have been involved in.
Teresa Kernc just sworn and takes the stand
Kernc was a Bolingbrook police officer for 22 yrs. She is now mayor of Diamond, Illinois.
Kernc went to Savio’s home on July 18th of 2002 to take a “delayed domestic abuse report” on the July 5 domestic incident.
“She said that on July 5th, she had taken her two sons to day camp, in the morning. And gone to the market. And when she returned from the market, she entered her home and went upstairs to collect her laundry. As she came down the stairs, she saw the defendant in his SWAT uniform, wearing black leather gloves. He pushed her back onto the stairs, and when she tried to rise he pushed her back again. And he told her she was a mean bitch, that she wouldn’t speak to him when he called, when he brought the boys to the door, and he wanted to speak to her now. And she said he spent the next three and a half hours talking about their lives, and he wanted her to say that what had happened was her fault.”
“He asked if she was afraid of him, and she said, yes, she was. She said she got tired of sitting there on that stair, and she told him, ‘Go, or do what you came to do: kill me.’ She said he said, ‘Where do you want it?’ and she said ‘in the head.’ He took his knife out, and told her to turn her head. She did turn her head, and waited. And then he said, ‘I can’t hurt you.’”

UPDATE 11:02:

Prosecutor Kathy Patton says that the next witness may be Bolingbrook police officer Teresa Kernc.
Kernc took report from Kathleen Savio. Savio first wrote about Drew holding her at knife-point and then scratched it out. Prosecution wants her to testify about what Savio said (that she didn’t want Peterson to be fired from BBPD).
Judge: “What is the other material you want to get out of this witness?”
Patton: “Just what she told this officer prior to her writing this statement. She [Savio] will tell the officer what occurred on the 5th, starting with the fact that the defendant came in her home unannounced. He came into the foyer area, pushed her backwards on to the stairs, told her not to move. He made comments to her, told her that she was a mean bitch, that he wanted to talk to her, and she should would have to listen. She finally said, ‘Do what you came for, kill me!’ He took out a knife. He left. She called some people after. She didn’t call the police. She didn’t want him to lose his job. She was conflicted about that. She wanted a divorce. Then she said things we cannot go into.”
Judge Burmila: Savio’s statement to police is admissible, as is the written statement she made of the incident.
Prosecutors seek to admit testimony from Stacy Peterson’s aunt, Candice Aikin. If she testifies she must do it today. She has a flight to California tonight.
Burmilla: Court taking “a two-minute recess for Mr. Brodsky”
Brodsky discussing motions filed on Akin and Badalamenti. Says he is surprised the state is calling Stacy’s aunt and aunt’s friend. They are on the witness list.
Stacy’s aunt and aunt’s friend have told police that Drew Peterson once stated that he could kill someone and get away with it.
Peterson told witness he learned so much as a police officer he could kill someone and make it look like an accident.
Brodsky “the prejudicial impact of such a statement so outweighs the probative value; it is devastating if it’s allowed.”
Judge won’t allow testimony #Drew Peterson told women in 2007 he knew how to kill somebody and make it look like accident. Too prejudicial.
Trial is in recess until 1:15 CST

UPDATE 10:40:

Connor on redirect: Was there any embalming fluid on the tissues that you tested in 2004? Objection/Overruled. “No, Sir, there wasn’t.”
And when you did the 2007 testing, you were already aware of the 2004 results? “Oh, absolutely.”
Prosecution has Long explaining what his team did during the Savio tests since the defense pointed out that he didn’t test her tissues personally.
“It’s a very prolonged process…in doing the testing for aspirin, we know the decomposition will give us false positives. The 2004 was negative, in a fresh sample. So unless they started taking aspirin in the coffin, it ain’t gonna be there.”
Long on leaving no room for error: “Computers are good, but they will lie to you so you have to look at the data for real.”
Goldberg begins his recross. The witness repeats that he had “a block” of liver tissue to work with in this case, which would help avoid the defense-alleged leaching problem in 2007. You like to be neutral and accurate? “Yes, Sir.” You didn’t do any of these tests? “No.” So you don’t know who double-checked the machines and the data? “Well, I double-checked the data.” But you’re assuming the information that comes out of these machines is accurate? “Yes, Sir.”
Long testimony done; witness steps down, state to call next witness

UPDATE 09:58:

Defense begins its cross-examination.
Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg: You told the members of the jury that you’ve always been qualified as an expert? “As far as I know, yes, Sir.”
Well, that’s not exactly true. Objection. The prosecution asks for a sidebar.
Long is asked if he has reviewed police reports, “No, Sir.” Well, you’ve had conversations with Mr. Connor about this particular case? “Yes, Sir…to explain the test results, yes, Sir.”
Judge asks for short recess while defense attorneys search for documents that include prosecutors asking for an explanation of witness.
Defense resumes cross-examination of Dr. Long
Defense blasts expert for noting a prosecutor in report. Longs says “ASA” stood for chemical compound, not Assistant State’s Atty.
Long’s says that his staff performed the tests. He did not personally do any of the tests.
Goldberg asks witness how he was able to confirm results if he himself never did the testing.
Long sounds bored as Goldberg continues with cross.
Goldberg: Zoloft is an anti-depressant medication? “Right.”
Graph is shown in courtroom.
So when you said no anti-depressants in the tissue you tested, that wasn’t exactly true, was it? “No, that’s true, ‘suggests.’”
Goldberg: But no confirmatory test was performed? Long: “That is correct”
When Long says he is unaware of Celebrex side effects, Goldberg asks if he’s never seen an infomercial. Objection. Sustained.
Long confirms if Savio was taking herbal-based “fat blaster” meds, it wouldn’t be detected.

UPDATE 09:05:

The first witness expected in the case is forensic toxicologist Dr. Christopher Long to enter reports from 2004 and 2007 autopsy.
Court is in session. Jury is called into courtroom
State calls Christopher Long to the stand
Long works for the St. Louis University School of Medicine. Has testified roughly once or twice a month for 10-15 years. Certified as an expert witness.
“I’m a forensic toxicologist. We study the drugs and substances that people use and abuse, so that the manner of the data may be introduced into a court of law.”
Dr. Long studied tissue samples from Savio.
Long is questioned about procedures for receiving and handling samples at the lab.
Long tested the liver and that test came out negative, no drugs found in liver of Savio. “All the testing came out negative”
“Actually it tested positive for an opiate, it was taken in for further study, and that came up negative.” (allergen)
Prosecutor Connor to witness: So the second test eliminated the possibility of anything in Kathleen Savio’s system? “Yes.”
Savio’s body was screened for Methadone, the test came back negative.
Long on testing decomposed tissue: “You have to be more careful to make sure what you’re finding is actually present.
Long found a very little amount of aspirin in the liver “that’s not going to do anything to the body”
There was no presence of anti-depressants in any sort of quantity found in Savio’s body in both 2004 and 2007.
State is done with witness. Defense asks for a moment before beginning cross

Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. On Friday Kathleen Savio’s sister, Susan, testified; as did Kathleen’s last boyfriend, Steve Maniaci, and a neighbor of hers. Also taking the stand was Susan McCauley, who worked at Suds Pub while Drew Peterson was married to Kathleen. The two of them had a 9-month affair.

Forensic toxicologist Dr. Christopher Long is expected to testify today. Stacy Peterson’s Aunt Candace Aikin, family friend Donna Badalamenti, friend of Stacy’s Scott Rosetto, and ISP investigator, Bryan Falat could be called to testify today.

We hear that Thomas Peterson, Kathleen Savio’s oldest son is back in Bolingbrook for a brief stay before Fall semester starts up again at the University of Pennsylvania. Will he make an appearance at trial like his brother Kris did, or even take the stand in his father’s defense?

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
Stacy St. Clair
In Session
Glenn Marshall
Diane Pathieu
Kara Oko
Dan Rozek

In Session’s trial updates by day (via Facebook)

August 3
August 7
August 8
August 9
August 10
August 14

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73 thoughts on “Drew Peterson trial – day nine. Another motion for mistrial! Take the poll.

  1. Should be an interesting day. In Session says Scott Rosetto may testify today. How will they not mention Stacy?

  2. So, I have a question…

    I was watching the news today and they showed one of the court artists paintings. It looks like Kathleen is all bloated in the tub. Would she have possibly bloated from water intake or is that just “death gases”. Maybe it’s just the way she’s laying in the tub + the angle of the court artist. Has anyone actually seen this photo in real life? what’s the story?

  3. There was no presence of anti-depressants in any sort of quantity found in Savio’s body in both 2004 and 2007.

    Hmmm… So much for saying she was drinking wine and taking anti-depressants!

  4. Wouldn’t you think if you are going to attack someone as “not always being an expert” you would have the paperwork in front of you to back it up? This is twice there has been a reccess for the defense to find paperwork.

  5. Defense blasts expert for noting a prosecutor in report. Longs says “ASA” stood for chemical compound, not Assistant State’s Atty.

  6. LOL! Charmed! I laughed at that too! 😆 I don’t know much about Goldberg, but he seems to fit right in with that team! 🙂

  7. I’m wondering if Aikin and Badalamenti will testify at all, now that Judge B has barred their testimony about “Could kill someone and make it look like an accident”.

  8. Yesterday they were making comments about Bosco getting all “dolled up” for the cameras. Seriously? Like she shouldn’t dress nicely and put on makeup when she’s going in front of the media?

    You go, Pam!

  9. CBS Chicago ‏@cbschicago

    Stacy Peterson’s aunt expected to take stand at Drew Peterson murder trial this afternoon. #drewpeterson

  10. So unprofessional of them to be making comments while she is speaking. Actually, I’m torn between “unprofessional” and “childish”.

  11. What’s the difference in the hearsay evidence of what Kathleen said and what Drew himself told Aikin and Badalementi? IMO, Judge Burmila is wrong.
    The duh-fense. Duh! Did they do ANY prep work for this trial, or were they too busy selling chicken wings?

  12. They definitely have their undies in a bundle over Pam Bosco’s presence and her media coverage. I guess they went into this thinking they were going to be getting all the camera time.

    In Session tweeted last night asking if the defense team was “over-confident” and Lopez answered, “We are not over confident about any issue in this trial with Bosco blowing her horn we are simply responding”

    I guess he thinks they are arguing this case on the courthouse lawn.

  13. Cheryl, I don’t think it is because it is considered hearsay, but rather that it is too prejudicial. Again, God forbid anyone mention that Drew did or said something bad. 🙄

  14. Cheryl, the only difference I notice is that Kathleen said that Drew said he could kill her and make it look like an accident.

    In Aikin and Badalamenti’s case, he said he could kill “someone”, etc.

    In the first case it could indicate his intent to kill her. In the second case maybe too removed from the actual allegation of murder?

  15. Pam Bosco is the constant reminder of Stacy. Everytime someone says “this could have just been an accident.” I want to ask them then who turned out the lights.

  16. Thanks, Harleyjoey and Facs. It’s not a direct threat, I guess. As for Pam, I hope she’s on the witness list, although goodness knows what she won’t be able to say. The animosity of the defense is blinding! No wonder they wear those dorky sunglasses.

  17. 2010 Hearsay Hearing Flashback

    Stacy’s aunt Candace Aikin spoke at Tuesday’s hearing. She recalled how Drew once told her how he was “able to kill someone and make it look like an accident.”

    He said this in front of Stacy, Aikin said, and his young wife shot back, “Not this chickie.”

    A friend of Aikin’s was present for this exchange; Donna Badalamenti testified to hearing essentially the same conversation.

    Badalamenti also said Peterson told her soon after marrying Stacy, “This marriage better work out or I’ll kill myself.”

    Badalamenti remembered telling Peterson, “Don’t do that,” to which he replied, “Then I’ll just kill her.”…

    …Badalamenti went on to tell how Peterson showed off a set of lock picks he was carrying and bragged that he had another set and still one more on order.

    “He said he used them with his work,” said Badalamenti, who noted that when Peterson spoke of killing Stacy, “he kind of laughed, but it was a chilling laugh.”


  18. Then, Facs, Badalamente’s statement doesn’t sound te least bit nebulous! GRRR! I get so frustrated with trials when the truth can’t be told. How can a jury possibly make an intelligent decision? Off my soapbox. For now…

  19. Why is it they can’t ask about the order of protection? It is on the police report and it says it expired. Drew Peterson is a walking prior bad act…let the jury see who he really is.

  20. I don’t know why they can’t ask about it, but the Prosecution knew that they weren’t supposed to, but then Patton did because it was still in her notes. Just awful. Awful.

  21. what is going on with the PROC, and that lady pros , did she say something she should not have said , like do a mistrial by predjeduce or how ever ya spell it,, is anyone of ya in court or jst getting it from others.. but wish insession was on more today instead of only morn and untill noon my time i mean they used to be on till 6pm LOL.. but what is going on

  22. what needs to be explained, if it can, is why the judge continues to just slap the wrist of the pro when they deliberately disobey orders by the court

  23. On WLS they are saying that the Prosecution was trying to introduce that Savio didn’t ask for an OOP at that time, because she didn’t want Peterson to lose his job.

    Here is the letter and the police report about the July 5 incident.

  24. Lugnut, before this witness took the stand there was a long discussion about what she was going to be allowed to say or not say. The Judge said she could go ahead with her testimony but could not mention the part of the story where Savio was asked if she wanted to file an order of protection.

    So, the prosecutor started the questioning and she messed up and asked about the order of protection anyway.

    So the defense is once more asking for a mistrial or to have all of Kernc’s testimony struck.

  25. Jeff, Atty Patton admitted that she messed up. It’s evident that she did.

    Unless you are suggesting that the prosecution is deliberately introducing barred testimony in order to get a mistrial (which the defense has alleged before).

    If it were granted with prejudice though, the case would be dismissed which wouldn’t get the prosecution anywhere.

    Or do you think that Patton knowingly introduced a question that had just been barred ten minutes ago, thinking that no one would notice? That’s just ludicrous.

  26. Oh Boy. I don’t understand why the jury can’t know about the OOP! Sheesh, I’m really tired of all of the things they CAN’T know.

  27. Harleyjoey ,

    I agree with you , they are trying to keep everything out , and going after the proc me thinks,,, they want a misstrial the defens, but with no predjudice i woudl say ,, but geesh the judge needs to let most of it in ..

  28. Sounds like it was the mistake of the lawyer, not the prosecution team. She had the question written down, and didn’t remove it when the judge made the decision on what would be allowed.

  29. From your keyboard to Judge Burmila’s ears, Noway.

    Have you noticed that typically this judge blusters and storms, and then eventually takes the most level-headed remedy?

  30. I hope he continues to make level-headed decisions and I hope the prosecution stops given him reasons to bluster and storm!

  31. I think what is important is fair trial for the victim, who happens to be Kathleen Savio and not Drew Peterson. As to the judge, the people are inferring that there was no reason to bar the OOP and it should have been admitted anyhow.

  32. Yes they are, lostacres. The defense and the judge.
    But on a more lighthearted note, Brodsky gets all puffed up and says he’s read the Bill of Rights, “…and there isn’t one thing that protects the rights of the State.” The judge replies: “You said there isn’t anything in the Constitution that grants any specific rights to the State . .. I’m not sure I agree with that.”
    Looks like Brodsky should go back and read it again.
    And then Brodsky says: “Actually, there were five errors here,” and lists all 4.
    Yes, Facs. If reworded like that, we could all have avoided this latest wordplay.

  33. Noway, Facsmiley, do you guys really think that these 3 blatant disregards to court orders were just oversights or “mistakes” by the pro, that they could possibly be that incompetent? You don’t really believe that.

  34. Here are the in session facebook updates in case anyone wants to read them over:

  35. I have to at least give it to Patton. At least she owned up to her mistake, and asked that the entire team not be penalized.

    I hope they can get it together and move on. I agree with others, the question wasn’t answered. So move on, and quit the belly aching.

  36. Of course they are mistakes, Jeff. Even the Judge has conceded that (actually the .38 bullet was introduced intentionally but because the prosecutor thought that when the witness testified that Drew said he hadn’t left it, that would negate the statement).

    Think of it this way, what could the prosecution possibly stand to gain by introducing barred testimony? They know the result will be exactly what we are dealing with now, which doesn’t do them any good.

  37. This is from the discussions immediately before Kernc was called to the stand.

    Judge: “Well, the State’s argument that the appellate court decision in this case is a game-changer to a degree . . . I do believe that the statement that Kathleen Savio made to the police officer is admissible, as is the written statement that she made of the incident. The testimony with regards to an order of protection, because she was afraid he would lose his job, is inadmissible.

  38. Then Attorney Patton questioned Kernc and asked her if she had any discussions with Savio about an order of protection. Immediate objection and sidebar.:

    Judge: “Now, we had a hearing about what would or would not be admissible in the oral portion of the conversation between this witness and the defendant. And I specifically pointed to the sentence referring to the order of protection, and said that statement was out. I was absolutely specific . . . I said order of protection is out. And then the State, apparently not paying any attention to what I said, asked the witness, ‘Did she say anything about getting an order of protection?’ . . . I think that’s what I said. It’s not like she interjected it; you asked her.”

    Patton: “I wasn’t trying to go against what Your Honor said . . . there isn’t an order of protection.”

    Judge: “I said specifically that this is out. That didn’t mean partially, what you thought I meant . . . order of protection was out. I specifically said not to do that . . . you interjected order of protection into the case when I said don’t do that . . . whether it’s good, bad, or neutral for the State is of no consequence. There’s only one thing I asked you not to go into, and that’s exactly what you did.”

    Patton: “I just say to the Court that I was trying to ask this witness if she suggested that she do something.”

    Judge: “But your question was about the order of protection . . . but we’re belaboring the point.”

    Patton: “That was my fault. I don’t know what else to say. I was thinking of it from a different perspective . . . I guess there’s nothing more I can say. I certainly didn’t mean it to be harmful to the defense.”

  39. Wow is all I have to say about today! I just don’t understand why the STATE keeps making these ridiculous errors, and mistakes? They had lots of time to prepare for things they were going to get into the trial, and had to leave out. It scares me to see that they make this many errors on such an important case. If they are not confident, and able to scratch off stuff what the judge says NOT TO USE, then they shouldn’t be up there arguing the case. I am starting to lose my faith in them that we will make it till the end of the trial without it ending in him walking free because of THE STATES CARELESS mistakes. Which might of happened already. I am going to pray all night, that all this judge does is strikes this question, and mistrial is denied.

  40. Lorie, I am pretty sure that that is going to happen. Just a gut feeling. I think the defense came on too strong in this mistrial motion, especially saying that DP did not want to go through this again, so only solution is mistrial. Kind of cocky don’t you think? Don’t think the judge will go for it. I have been wrong before, but I think it will move forward, and hope the state better be careful from here on

  41. I have faith guys! Thankfully the defense wasn’t smart enough to wait for the question to be answered before they got their panties in a bunch! 🙂

    I’m hoping that the judge sleeps on it, and sees this as well.

  42. Lostacres, I think Brodsky’s comment (which I agree, was cocky) worked against them… the judge did not seem to take too kindly to it.

  43. I don’t think the judge is going to declare a mistrial either. I am hoping he just strikes that question, and not the whole testimony. I am just frustrated as I am sure some of you are how some of this stuff is going in the courtroom. I just don’t get why some of this stuff isn’t allowed in? How can you tell the whole story, with only half of the truth? The whole story should be allowed to be told and let the jury decide if they believe it or not. I am just in disbelief at some of the things the judge is saying can, and can’t be said. It is almost like he is making witnesses on both sides twist the truth, or the facts. They are only allowed to say this, or that, or say it a certain way? That is kind of like telling them they have to lie, or tell half truth, or leave it out completely. How can that be fair for the victim in this case if the truth isn’t allowed to come out, or the facts? Another night now worrying what this judge is going to do next. My Prayers, Love, and Support, always to the Savio’s and Cales!

  44. Good story at ABC7.

    And Chicago Tribune

    As the judge fumed, Patton acknowledged the seriousness of her error. She told Burmila that she had written the question down before he barred the topic, and she read it without thinking.

    “Judge, I know this is going to sound ridiculous, but I thought this part is bad for the state,” Patton said.

    “Whether it’s bad for the state, good for the state or indifferent makes no difference,” Burmila said. “I said there was only one thing you were not to go into and that’s exactly what you did.”

    It would be different if Kernc blurted out the reference, but Patton’s decision to “defy” his order made it a serious breach, Burmila said.

    “Judge, that was my fault. I don’t know what else to say,” Patton said. “I was thinking of it from a different perspective. I would rather have not had the jury hear anything about an order of protection at any time.”

    Burmila snorted.

  45. After understanding more clearly how it all went down, and everything that was said, I am thinking the judge is going to strike the statement, and the jury told to disregard it. I do not think there will be a mistrial.

  46. The judge is never going to grant a mistrial with prejudice because of these missteps by the prosecution. Absolute worst case scenario – the judge decides that the jury has been tainted by the prosecution’s mistakes, and they do it over with another jury. That’s what will likely happen if the judge decides they have made too many of these kind of errors. Everything else can be corrected with a jury instruction.

  47. I’m confused. Here we have a defendant on trial for murder, but the jury are not allowed to hear things that go toward proving the defendant did it. Have I been watching too much Boston Legal, or is this just nuts?

  48. my question exactly… why can’t they discredit the defense?? It is the Defenses job when they re-cross to make their client look credible. Also, I thought Kathleen had a protective order against Drew.. I am confused….i know there was a protective order…i also believe that he shouldn’t mistrial this “because” she didn’t answer the question.

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