Drew Peterson trial – Judge and attorneys hash out jury instruction. Direct verdict motion denied

Today the defense and prosecution attorneys will meet with Judge Burmila in open court for a charge conference.

During this conference they should determine what instructions will be given to the jury and note any objections the lawyers may have to the instructions proposed by the judge.

Check out the comment thread for updates throughout the day.

For trial updates we’re following:

BJ Lutz
Stacy St. Clair
In Session
Kara Oko
Dan Rozek

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98 thoughts on “Drew Peterson trial – Judge and attorneys hash out jury instruction. Direct verdict motion denied

  1. Was the jury allowed to see above diagram? Once you have a visual of all the bruisings and injuries, it becomes pretty clear that they could NOT have been received from a simple slip and fall in a small tub

  2. They saw similar exhibits. Not this particular one – tho.

    This is from the August 15 in session updates:

    The witness, using a model or diagram now points out the locations of some more of the injuries present on Kathleen Savio’s body. “When you analyze injuries from a fall, are circumstances, the autopsy, and the scene things you consider?” “Yes.”

  3. In Session‏@InSession

    #drewpeterson attys continue to linger in the hallway & courtroom. DP is in court joking around w/ one of the deputies.

  4. In Session

    Most of the prosecution team is inside the courtroom. James Glasgow, however, is out in the hallway, speaking to a group of reporters. Half of the defense attorneys are still in the hallway, while the remainder have gone inside. Drew Peterson is inside the courtroom as well.

    It looks like the parties are gathering in the courtroom. We may be starting shortly.

  5. Wow, Facs, that diagram puts things into laser focus. How can a woman fall and hit the back of her head on the tub, rendering her unconscious, and yet sustain significant injuries on the FRONT of her body?

    Just can’t happen. I sure hope the Jury is given a diagram that is similarly clear.

    I’m heading off to Charleston (SC) for the weekend! May be able to sneak in a little bit of Justice Cafe from the hotel.

  6. I wondered about this yesterday-will the media be allowed in the courtroom and the overflow room today, to keep us all informed?
    Lordy I’d love to be a bug on the wall-pun intended!

  7. In Session

    Judge Burmila is on the bench. “Good morning, everyone . . . this is a jury instruction conference. Then the State has filed a motion in limine, which we’ll discuss after the instruction conference is over.”

  8. In Session

    Attorney Joel Brodsky addresses the Court regarding the first proposed instruction.

    The defense wants extra language in a standard instruction telling jurors not to let sympathy or prejudice influence their deliberations.

    Prosecutor Koch argues against the modified language.

    Brodsky: “The jury should be aware that [punishment] is not for them to worry about.”

    Judge: “The version submitted by the State is a correct statement of the law. The defendant’s modified [version] is denied.”

  9. In Session

    The next instruction concerns outside sources of information.

    Once again, the defense offers a modified version, says the instruction as written is actually appropriate for a pre-trial instruction, not post-trial.

    The judge seems inclined not to re-read the instruction to the jury, but to submit it along with the written instructions.

    Brodsky: “We’ve had multiple people who have been sitting behind the State’s table, and actually instructed in and out of the courtroom by Chuck Pelkie, who after court addressed favorably the way the State’s case was going, and addressed in a negative fashion the way the case was going for the defense . . .they’re also on occasion criticizing the Court’s rulings. I don’t know what Mr. Pelkie is telling them . . . I just think that given the potential of some connection, reading this instruction to instruct the jury once again that they’re not to consider anything that may have filtered by to them through the press is beneficial to ensuring that Mr. Peterson gets a fair trial.”

    Prosecutor Koch responds, calls this defense complaint “purely speculative . . . I don’t see the purpose in reading this again at the end of the case.”

    Attorney Greenberg: “Why not give it, just in an overabundance of caution? There’s no harm.”

    Judge: “First of all, in regards to the allegations about communications with the press, I don’t know that what you’ve related to me today is something I can take into account . . . if what you’re saying is accurate, and the State’s Attorney’s office is using an agent to make derogatory comments about the Court, that’s something they’re going to have to answer to in a different setting. The case law in Illinois is completely clear that these instructions should not be modified, unless there’s a significant reason to modify them . . . we did give the instruction before the trial started . . . over the defendant’s objection, the instruction will not be modified, and it will be given to the jury in writing.”

    The next instruction involves the believability of witnesses.

    Brodsky has no objection to this instruction, and the instruction will be given as prepared.

  10. Brodsky: “We’ve had multiple people who have been sitting behind the State’s table, and actually instructed in and out of the courtroom by Chuck Pelkie, who after court addressed favorably the way the State’s case was going, and addressed in a negative fashion the way the case was going for the defense

    He means Pam Bosco, which is ridiculous. Pam is speaking for herself and Stacy’s family NOT the State’s Attorney office.

  11. In Session

    The next instruction involves opening statements.

    Again, the defense has no objection.

    The prosecution has an objection to the next instruction, related to the use of the word “deputy” instead of “bailiff.”

    The judge decides to grant the State’s suggested modification to change the word.

    The next several instructions will be read without objection (regarding the defendant’s pleading not guilty, presumption of innocence, defendant’s right not to testify, and the definition of circumstantial evidence).

  12. In Session

    The defense has an objection to the next instruction, which Greenberg says is confusing. This apparently involves “statements” (but whether they’re media statements or hearsay statements is unclear, according to the defense).

    Brodsky proposes that the word “hearsay” be inserted in front of “statements,” to make the instruction’s meaning clearer. “Otherwise, they’re not going to know what we’re talking about . . . you haven’t heard evidence of the defendant’s statements; you’ve heard evidence about what may have been the defendant’s statements. That’s the problem with hearsay.”

    Prosecutor Koch: “Those aren’t hearsay statements.”

    Judge: “No, they’re hearsay. They’re admissible hearsay, but they’re still hearsay.”

    Koch: “I don’t think the instruction needs to be modified in any way. I think it’s appropriate.”

    Brodsky: “The jury doesn’t have any guideline by which to determine.”

    Judge: “Sure they do, the last sentence . . . it’s right there . . . I think that this is a correct statement of the law. The jury is advised that they can consider any of the statements they’ve heard that have been attributed to the defendant. The jury has to determine whether they believe the defendant even made those statements, and the circumstances under which they were made . . . I think it’s a correct statement of the law, and the defendant’s objections are overruled.”

  13. Those remarks were just plain stupid! He’s saying the defense hasn’t been entertaining the press each day, or addressing Lopez’s twitters! Isn’t that the pot calling out the kettle?

  14. Luckily the judge wasn’t having any of that nonsense. Not his first rodeo!

    For heaven’s sake, the defense team has been spouting outright lies to the media for months.

  15. In Session

    The next instruction regards challenging the believability of witnesses.

    Attorney Greenberg says that the defense has its own proposed instruction on this issue.

    Attorney Joe Lopez: “The State tendered two versions of it. We want every variation.”

    Judge: “That doesn’t stand on its own.”

    Greenberg: “I don’t think it’s one or the other.”

    Prosecutor Koch: “This is for inconsistent statements.”

    Judge: “I think with those bracketed portions included would now be an accurate statement of the law.”

    The State has a proposed modification to the next instruction.

    Brodsky says that the defense also has its own proposed version of this instruction.

    Judge: “The State’s modification is a correct statement of the law, and will be given.”

    The next instruction concerns the definition of murder.

    Brodsky offers some minor modifications to the instruction’s grammar. “Other than that, we have no objection to it.”

    Judge: “I think the defendant’s objection is well-taken.” He orders the grammatical changes to be made to this instruction.

  16. Forgot to say that I wish the prosecution had informed the judge of that. If Burmila wants to follow up with the defense’s statement, he ought to grapple with the defense’s shows they’ve been putting on for months, like you say, Facs. Good grief!

  17. In Session

    The defense objects to the next proposed instruction, “the issues instruction.”

    Greenberg: “The indictment charges he intended to kill . . . it does not charge he intended to kill or do great bodily harm . . . this indictment is very specific in that he alleges that he caused her to inhale fluid . . . I believe because they have specifically alleged inhaling fluid, the instruction should require the jurors find that. So I believe the instruction should be modified to include that he intended to kill her by causing her to inhale fluid, or caused her to inhale fluid knowing that such an act created the possibility of death or great bodily harm.”

    Greenberg concedes, however, that he has no case law that supports the defense position. “Here, I still don’t know how they say she died. How did he cause her to inhale fluid? They still haven’t said that.”

    Prosecutor Griffin responds: “There’s nothing that would suggest this is a factual modifier that should be included . . . we would ask that [the standard instruction] be given.”

    Judge: “I’m not aware of any case that allows the issues instruction to include a factual modifier . . . I think that the instruction is a correct statement of the law, and with no precedential support for the objection that Mr. Peterson is making, the modification is denied, and the instruction will be given as stated.”

    Based on the judge’s ruling, Greenberg asks for a motion in limine, asking that the State be precluded from arguing any other theory except that Kathleen Savio was forced to inhale fluid. For the moment, the motion is denied, but may be brought up again later.

  18. I find this stuff really interesting. I didn’t even realize that jury instructions were ever anything but standard. But I never followed a trial this closely, either.

  19. In Session

    The judge now moves to the concluding instructions.

    The defense objects to the verdict forms, but the judge overrules that objection.

    “Now we need to address the defendant’s proposed instructions” (most of which he’s already denied).

    The State objects to the judge re-reading the various cautionary instructions that the jury has already heard. “The cure was during the course of the trial; there’s no need to do it again.”

    Greenberg insists that part of the sanctions against the State mandate that the cautionary instructions be read again.

    Judge: “You asked me to caution the jury, and I did . . . the Court did say at the time it cautioned the jury that I would re-read these cautions again at the end of the trial. [But] I don’t see the need at this point in time to re-read these cautionary instructions . . . so the defendant’s motion is denied; they will not be re-read to the jury. And if they are, any modifications will be up to the Court.”

    Greenberg: “Can we still argue these things?” Judge: Absolutely.”

  20. Facs, the last jury I sat on was sent out while the prosecution and the defense worked out these same things. Some were changed, some weren’t. It really was an education!

  21. In Session

    The next proposed defense instruction concerns a definition of “reasonable doubt,” which Brodsky is asking be read to the jury.

    “There is no direct evidence whatsoever . . . it’s a circumstantial case, based on hearsay. So they [the jurors] should be instructed on what reasonable doubt is.”

    The judge denies the request: “There is no better definition of ‘reasonable doubt’ than the words themselves. No definition of reasonable doubt will be given in this case.”

    Judge Burmila recesses court until 1:15 CT/2:15 ET.

    Judge to attorneys: “If we could be prompt, please!” He then leaves the bench, and the trial is in recess until 1:15/2:15.

  22. After the creation of Drew’s Law, and consistent with their ongoing delusions of grandeur, Drew and his hired sycophants think they are entitled to their own proprietary jury instructions….but the learned arbitrator is having nothing to do with it. Atta boy. Judge Burmila!

  23. I wonder if Joel is ready to have a meltdown yet? I can see him now all red faced, sweating, and stuttering. I guess it was a good thing Lopez is doing the closing because otherwise we might of been listening to someone sounding like Daffy Duck. 🙂 I have the feeling there is going to be a great outcome when the verdict comes in. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see Drew did it! I am reading all over the web and about 90 percent of the people feel the same way…….Guilty!

  24. In Session

    Judge Burmila takes the bench, and the jury charge conference continues.

    The question of the proposed defense instruction regarding “impeachment by omission” is once again addressed. The defense has given the judge some case law on this issue.

    Prosecutor Griffin responds, argues that this issue is adequately covered by a standard impeachment instruction.

    Judge: “I tend to agree with the State . . . the parties can argue the inferences that can be drawn by the omission. So the defendant’s proposed instruction is denied.”

  25. In Session

    The next proposed defense instruction involves “failure to produce evidence or a witness.”

    The defense hopes for an instruction based on a similar civil instruction, and offers that civil instruction for use as a template.

    Attorney Greenberg cites case law that he believes supports the defendant’s argument.

    Judge: “The Court recognizes there are instructions that can be given to the jury in regards to the failure to call a witness . . . the defendant does not have the ability to use a shield as a sword . . . I think it would only be confusing, and the defendant’s proposed instruction is denied.”

  26. lol Facs I agree! They messed up big time IMO when they put Harry Smith on the stand. With him saying that Stacy told him Drew killed Kathleen, The Hitman, and Neil Schori’s testimony, I think it damaged the Def big time! Three people saying that he killed Kathleen, or wanted her dead. Kathleen’s own words written down on paper, and letters to the State pleading for help then she ends up dead with multiple injuries from a slip in the tub. I don’t see how we can’t get a guilty verdict. Saying a Prayer here that these jury members see the same picture. We all know some how other trials went in the past, and let a murderer walk free for them to kill again.

  27. In Session

    The next proposed defense instruction concerns regarding “the multiplicity of attorneys.”

    Greenberg says this is important “because of the number of attorneys in this case, and because this case is being personally prosecuted by the State’s Attorney . . . given the number of times the jury had to be excluded, and the length of time, I think it’s important the jury knows it’s no one’s fault . . . it just reinforces, especially given the length of time. Where’s the harm?”

    Prosecutor Griffin: “I believe this misstates the law, and I don’t even understand the reason for it.”

    Judge: “I think the record has to be clear; there was an unusual number of sidebars in this case . . . we wouldn’t them to be frustrated in any fashion in regards to the number of times they did have to leave the courtroom . . . I think if you guys could get your heads together along the lines of some instruction, I think it would be helpful. If you could agree on some language, I think it might be appropriate in this case to address that subject again.”

  28. So Burmilla wants both sides to work on a jury instruction about not being influenced by the gazillion sidebars and frequent hikes in and out of the courtroom.

    Maybe he could have just denied about half of those sidebar requests and just let the jury hear what they needed to hear?

  29. In Session

    The defense offers an instruction regarding “the prior conviction of a witness.”

    The prosecution objects to this instruction (which seems to deal solely with prosecution witness Jeff Pachter).

    The judge decides to give this instruction. “It goes to the issue of moral turpitude, and I’m going to give it.”

  30. Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States that refers to “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals.” It appears in U.S. immigration law from the nineteenth century. In other common law jurisdictions it is dated or obsolete

    The classification of a crime or other conduct as constituting moral turpitude has significance in several areas of law. First, prior conviction of a crime of moral turpitude (or in some jurisdictions, moral turpitude conduct, even without a conviction) is considered to have a bearing on the honesty of a witness and may be used for purposes of witness impeachment.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude

  31. When Jeff Pachter was 18 he was charged with criminal sexual abuse for his relationship with a girl who court records indicate was 13-to-16 years old. he also owed about $1000 in taxes.

  32. In Session

    The next defense proposal has to do with the issue of jury speculation regarding the bifurcation of the Peterson/Savio divorce (and incorrect statements of the law regarding that issue, specifically how the death of one of the parties affects that proceeding).

    Before he hears argument on this issue, Judge Burmila consults a bound reference volume.

    Judge: “The instruction is mostly testimonial in its outlook . . . to remind the jurors they heard this testimony, that’s testimonial, not a statement of the law . . . you need to put it in an explanation of the law, rather than a recount of the testimony.”

  33. Ok so then bring up about Drew’s moral conduct. He was in his 40’s dating a 17 yr old. It is normal for teenage boys and girls, to date someone a couple years younger than them. Drew was old enough to be Stacy’s Father! Oh but I forgot it is ok for Drew to do it!

  34. In Session

    Greenberg offers the next proposed defense instruction, which concerns “the implication that Mr. Peterson might be a beneficiary of some kind . . .

    We would like you to inform the jury that he was no longer an heir, because they were divorced, and he was not listed as a beneficiary in the will.”

    Prosecutor Griffin responds, objecting to the defense’s proposed instruction. “What matters is what his state of mind was, and whether he thought he might have specific financial benefits from this crime.”

    Koch: “That goes right to his state of mind. We wanted to produce testimony to that, and we were precluded from doing so.”

    Greenberg: “All we’re asking you to do is present a correct statement under the law.”

    Judge: “The defendant’s instruction will not be given. The evidence in this case in regards to the issue of what the defendant’s posture would be post-divorce and in advance of the property distribution, I think, is irrelevant . . . this instruction is one that goes toward evidence, and not the law in this case . . . so I don’t see any need for this instruction at all; it’s not an accurate statement of the law, as it’s applicable in this case. So it will not be given.”

  35. Does it seem to anyone else that the defense is trying to argue their case via the jury instructions? Thanks, Judge Burmila, for not letting them do that.

  36. In Session

    The State objects to the next proposed defense instruction, saying it’s irrelevant.

    Brodsky responds: “This goes to correct a misstatement of the law that Mr. Smith gave from the stand.”

    Judge: “I will say that when Mr. Smith made this statement in front of the jury about concealing a homicidal death . . . at the time, you did not cross-examine him any further when he made the statement. Is that correct?”

    Brodsky: “I only cross-examined him on his prior statements that it was extortion.”

    Judge; “So you had an opportunity to cross-examine him on whether the information he was giving the jury was incorrect?”

    Brodsky: “I was a bit taken by surprise.”

    Judge: “How does the fact that you were surprised and did not cross-examine him on this issue, how does a jury instruction cure that?”

    Brodsky: “Because it would advise the jurors that the law he told them was wrong. They could use that in evaluating the weight and credibility to give his testimony.”

    Greenberg: “The jury should be advised that it was an incorrect statement of the law. To do otherwise is to leave the jurors with an incorrect understanding of the law.”

    Griffin: “The correct understanding of the law they need to have is the law of this case.”

    Judge: “You’re not disputing that what he [Smith] said was wrong?”

    Griffin: “All Mr. Smith was doing was clarifying that he was not talking to her about extortion.”

    Judge: “But Mr. Smith says he was advising her about a crime that she could not have committed.”

    Griffin: “This is not something that should be included in a jury instruction; it should have been addressed at the time that Mr. Smith was testifying.”

    Judge: “I believe everybody will believe that what she told him did not constitute the crime of concealing a homicidal death . . . that’s a separate issue from whether or not a special instruction is curative. What Ms. Griffin said is correct; if you abandon that line of questioning, I don’t know if you can come back and ask for a jury instruction later.”

    Greenberg: “The fact is that he was wrong, and it is the Court’s obligation to advise the jury on the law, not a witness’ obligation . . . it would be unjust to have the jury have an incorrect understanding of the law simply because maybe something should have been said or done earlier.”

    Judge: “You [the defense] called him . . . you called this witness . . . there’s nothing I can see that the State did to augment or embellish Mr. Smith’s testimony. The defendant’s proposed instruction is denied . . . there was no request for a sidebar, no request that the Court correct the information. So the relief the defendant seeks in the form of a jury instruction is denied.”

  37. In Session

    Brodsky proposes the next defense special instruction (regarding accusations of witnesses of wrongdoing by the defendant). “This is the only crime that he’s charged with . . . they should not consider any other collateral evidence of wrongdoing.”

    Griffin: “It seems to me that the defendant’s suggesting that the jury can’t consider any of the evidence against him.”

    Brodsky: “Some of those people Mr. Pelkie has escorted to the microphone have said why Stacy Peterson is not here . . . people are saying jurors will consider that against Mr. Peterson . . . there’s other accusations out there, Judge. Jurors are only to consider the charged crime, and not anything outside of that. It seems as if a lot of the State’s case was aimed at bringing in other accusations against the defendant and getting them in front of the jury.”

    Judge: “I understand the argument that the defendant is making . . . I think the instructions as a whole address the issue that the defendant is concerned about . . . that objection is overruled, and will not be given.”

  38. In Session

    The next proposed defense instruction concerns a definition of “hearsay.”

    Joe Lopez: “The jurors have heard us say ‘hearsay’ a bunch of times, ‘Objection, hearsay’ . . . they’ve heard about ‘the hearsay hearing’ . . . the jurors are sitting in there, wondering what is it exactly? The jurors, I think, should be instructed what it means.”

    Lopez then offers a definition of hearsay from a 1962 Illinois Supreme Court decision. “We don’t want them arguing over what exactly a hearsay statement is . . . the team thinks it would be wise to give them an instruction. We’d like the Court to read that into the record, and instruct the jurors so that it doesn’t become an issue later.”

    Griffin responds: “There is no case we have found about hearsay evidence or forfeiture by wrongdoing . . . we would object to this instruction; it highlights hearsay evidence . . . we don’t believe that this is an instruction that should be given; there’s no support for it.”

    Judge: “Over the State’s objection, this instruction is going to be given. I think it’s peculiarly relevant in this case.”

  39. Sheesh! Is there anything they’re not objecting to? And could it be…that the judge, after listening to all of the case, has decided Drewpy is guilty? That’s what it’s sounding like to me.
    Will the prosecution also request some changes, I wonder?
    Yes, LA, beautiful day in the neighborhood!

  40. I’m thinking more that it’s probably customary for the defense to request a lot of goofy jury instructions, just like it is for them to file a bunch of pre-trial motions. Throw a bunch out there and hope some of them stick. The judge probably came into this knowing he was going to deny most of them.

  41. In Session

    The judge acknowledges that the final defense proposed instruction “is a correct statement of the law.” However, he decides to take under advisement the question of whether or not he will actually give it (wanting to check case law first).

    Prosecutor Connor now addresses the Court, asking for some restrictions to the defense summation. The first involves witness Mary Pontarelli.

    Attorney Greenberg rejects the State’s amendment, says that what Connor has just stated about Pontarelli is “completely false.”

    Judge: “The State is asking me to restrict the defendant’s closing argument; the argument is restricted . . . it’s up to the jury to resolve that conflict.”

  42. In Session

    Connor then moves to the issue of a certified copy of Kathleen Savio’s death certificate. “The date on the certificate should not be brought out during closing statements; that is irrelevant . . . they’re attempting to argue that the official position of the coroner’s officer is that the death is still an accident; it is now a homicide, and that’s certified by the coroner’s office.”

    Greenberg: “I’m offended . . . for them to accuse us of a defense stunt is an insult. We have engaged in no stunt . . . there is a procedure for changing a death certificate . . . they’ve never done anything to try to change anything or correct anything . . . they cite no authority for their position, not a single case.”

    Judge: “The request that I restrict the defense closing argument in that regard is denied.”

  43. In Session

    The defense requests to be able to mention in its closing that Harry Smith looked repeatedly at the State’s table during his testimony.

    Judge: “The State’s request that the defense be restricted from mentioning that is denied.”

    Finally, Judge Burmila also rejects a State request that the defense be precluded from arguing that hearsay evidence is lesser evidence.

    “Are we done with the jury instructions?” “Yes.”

  44. Facs said
    I do wonder why the death certificate has never been changed. I remember that being brought up in 2009. It must be difficult to do, officially.

    I don’t think it will have escaped the jury’s attention that the verdict of the coroner’s court is disputed. They might completely ignore the death certificate.

  45. Attorney Greenberg renews his motion for a directed verdict in this case.

    “Now you’ve have to consider the defense case . . . we are still at a point in this case where we have no evidence that Mr. Peterson went into that house this weekend.

    Harry Smith said Stacy Peterson wanted to know if she could use the fact that Drew killed Kathy as leverage in the divorce. There are no facts to back that statement up, so that statement by itself is no evidence in itself. It means nothing. Then you have very prominent experts from both sides. Dr. Case only believes something if she wrote it . . . how can you give any weight to her opinion? And then they recalled her yesterday, and you go to observe her demeanor on the stand, her combativeness. She was defensive, to say the least.

    We had Dr. Baden, a very nice man, very personable . . . but, again, he didn’t tell you how Ms. Savio died. I still sit here and go, ‘How did this person die?’ They have not shown any evidence that Mr. Peterson broke into the house, was let into the house, was in the house that night. They have not put him in the house . . . they have not had a witness who can tell you he went to that house that night, and there’s not evidence from which you can infer it.

    The State says that he staged a crime scene to make it look like an accident, something that no one ever said. They have to say that, because they don’t want to accept it’s an accident. If he had staged the scene, then how did he get the scene wrong? He’s such a mastermind that he’s sitting there indicted for murder? . . . they have not shown one piece of evidence that was missed . . . was she hit over the head with a candlestick? Hit over the head with a billy club? A gun? There’s no defensive wounds on her, nothing under her fingernails. Her best friend said if she was attacked, she would have fought back.

    There’s nothing on Mr. Peterson, no mark on Mr. Peterson at all. There’s no confession. There’s just no evidence at all. If there is not sufficient evidence, then our motion should be granted . . . they may want to believe this, but the fact is that nothing changed from 2004 until the time this indictment was brought in 2009 except that two doctors decided in their opinion it was a homicide instead of an accident. The only other thing that changed was that Stacy was gone.”

    Prosecutor Koch responds to the defense motion.

    “Harry Smith puts Mr. Peterson in the house . . . it corroborates Neil Schori’s statement about when Mr. Peterson came home that night . . . you heard the clavicle injury could have been caused by being pushed down on a hard surface . . . the circumstantial evidence, all the evidence taken together, could convince a reasonable person that the defendant is guilty . . . the prior bad acts on the intent, the motive and intent . . . ‘I will kill you,’ those statements that came in . . . the expert testimony from Dr. Case.

    It’s for the jury to decide the credibility of these witnesses . . . there is sufficient evidence for this case to go to the jury, and we ask that you deny the motion for a directed finding.”

  46. Greenberg responds. “They say it wasn’t an accident, so therefore he did it. Because who else would have done it? . . . even as I sit here now, after four or five weeks of trial, the fact is that they cannot tell you did he go to that house on Friday night? Did he go on Saturday night?” “Did he go on Sunday night? When did he commit this crime, if a crime was committed? Where did he commit the crime? Did he whack her over the head with a coffee can? Did he drag her up the stairs? We don’t know . . . it’s a scary day when someone can be on trial or be convicted or have a jury decide when the State cannot still today articulate for you what happened. I challenge them to tell us what happened. How was the crime committed, and what piece of evidence do you have to say Drew Peterson did it? I just don’t get it.”

    Judge: “A circumstantial case is built much like a house, brick by brick . . . the defense argues that this case comes down to the experts; there’s no disagreement about that . . . at the same time, the jurors are entitled to ignore all the experts and rely on their common sense . . . but a reasonable person could return such a verdict. So the defendant’s motion is denied.”

  47. Carol Burton ‏@special_ed_gym2
    RT @nbckimvatis: Defense now making another attempt for directed verdict to get #DrewPeterson case thrown out. Oh please…..move on!
    Kim Vatis ‏@nbckimvatis
    Defense now making another attempt for directed verdict to get #DrewPeterson case thrown out.
    Kara Oko ‏@KaraOko
    Judge denies directed verdict #DrewPeterson

  48. Can’t say the def isn’t fighting tooth and nail. They know if this goes to the jury, the chances of a guilty verdict are quite real. But if I hear another “No evidence” I am going to puke

  49. Judge Burmilla has denied the defense’s motions for a directed verdict in this case.

    Judge: “We’re done for today on the record. Everybody have a good weekend. We’ll now move to the chief judge’s conference room.” The judge leaves the bench, and the rest of the hearing is now off the record. The public portion of the trial is now in recess until Tuesday morning at 9:00 CT/10:00 ET.

  50. And now we wait. I wonder what everyones thoughts are regarding the trial and the testimonies. I realize its all up to the jurors now, but how do people here feel, now that the trial is over with. Did the Pros put on a good case? Did the def instill reasonable doubt? Will he get convicted or will he walk free, or will there be a hung jury

  51. Yep just as I said earlier 🙂 The Def screwed up when they put Harry Smith on the stand, after Pachter and Neil testified. They put the nal in the coffin. Any reasonable person is going to see that Drew is the only one that wanted her dead, would benefit from her death, 2 people saying the same person came to them telling them he did it. If Rosetto was able to testify he would of been yet another person to say she told him Drew killed Kathleen and how he did it. Then you have Pachter who was propositioned for murder for hire. All these injuries sustained to not just the back, but the front and the extremities as well. The professionals testimonies of how deep the injuries went and an unlikely that it came from a slip in the tub. All of this can definitely bring a guilty verdict. No way the judge is going to grant what they are asking.

  52. I think a diplomatic way to deal with all the sidebars and the poor jurors having to go in and out would be for the judge to simply acknowledge the frequent disruption, and thank the jurors for their patience.

    That would be nice ‘n’ neutral. No more drama than necessary, please.

  53. so how does it go now. Closing arguments first, then jury instructions and then to the jury? Closing arguments should not take long right? Maybe an hour or two each? LOL at Bucket, Fat Shark sings, Its more like fat shark whine

  54. Actually he is tweeting right now that they scored a major victory in jury instructions. Those guys are so funny, they are laughable

  55. I certainly hope he is found guilty. Circumstantial or not…he had motive, means, the state of mind and the knowledge to do this. It is concerning that there have been defendents in past trials (O.J for one) with tons of concrete evidence that walked. One thing that I find so ironic is that the defense attorneys keep saying that Stacy was just motivated by money. What a joke! I suppose the defense attorneys motivation for this isn’t money??? Really??? No book deals or notariety after this??? Right. Stacy’s motivation was she wanted OUT and away from him. I’m sure she was scared because she already KNEW for a fact what he was capable of. Harry Smith even said he didn’t believe that she even realized what a precarious situation she was in. Let’s all say our prayers this weekend that there are 12 reasonable and logical people that come to the just conclusion and put this guy away. And “Little Chubby Shark” can go back to his mafia friends with his tail between his legs. Sorry, I can’t stand him.

  56. debnal, the def lawyers are despicable. Maybe they need to be to be in that profession. I cannot stomach any of them. Brodsky is just stupid and not qualified, Greenberg is a small man with a big mouth prone to temper tantrums, typical of that type, and Lopez thinks he is all that, although he reminds me of the Pillsbury doughboy with his pudgy soft appearance and his squeaky voice Lopez was bragging about his mercedes in his tweets this afternoon.

  57. I believe DP is chuckling at all this stuff that is going on because of him. He must feel very important as all these lawyers are batteling his fate, for free. I do hope he has to pay for what he so obviously did

  58. Grandam, I’d like to know that, too. It’ll come out. We were so spoiled @ the opening arguments, in that the prosecution’s was very short and to the point. and the defense didn’t even give theirs.

  59. I just want to say thank you to everyone that has contributed to this. The coverage has been great. Are any of you actually there attending the trial in Joliet? And is there any chance that this could be continued and done in future trials to come? Or is this a one time thing for this particular trial?

  60. The judge made me LOL at his response to Brodsky regarding Brodsky”s being taken by surprise at Harry Smith’s incorrect statement.

    I think the DT only really cared about a couple of the items they objected about. The rest was just done to irritate the State. jmo

    Thanks so much to all for the updates.

  61. Do they limit time for closing arguments? I would think you wouldn’t want to go too long or you’d lose jury’s interest. 🙂

    I did read that you can actually object to the other side’s closing arguments (although it is rare).

  62. Hi Folks! Just wanted to say hello to everyone, since I’ve just been silently lurking for the past couple of years or so, while trying to stay caught up. Felt the need to log in tonight though, just to tell Facs and Rescue how much I appreciate your keeping the blog going, and keeping everyone updated with the latest news on the case. As much as I feared Drew might walk, after the initial blunders by the prosecution, things seem to have taken a turn for the better toward the end, and I’m feeling more optimistic that he WILL get sentenced. Reading the jury instructions tonight also boosted my optimism. We’ll see how closing arguments go, but it looks like Brodsky might be Drew’s undoing….and nothing could tickle me more. Nothing.

    Hope you all have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

  63. Its hard to think that a reasonable person could let him walk on this, but at the same time we on the outside know so much more.

    I was thinking about Tom’s testimony and they seemed to be trying to convey that when they arrived back home the lights would often be out. Is that to off-set all the witnesses saying the house was dark??

  64. charmed,
    You are so right about Tom’s testimony. They sure tied up all the loose ends, nice and tidy, and used Tom to tie it all up with a big bow, didn’t they? I think he covered just about Any questions a juror could have about that night.

    Talk about Red Flags Flying from a testimony. They jumped out at me.

    The lights were all out, (Of course, that was normal, at times, since they were all out that night.) Of course, screen door unlocked somtimes, (since it was unlocked the night they found Kathleen) Of course Kathleen liked hot baths,( hot baths make you fall and hit your head, and about 15 other places, front, back and side, all in one fall. don’t ya know?) Of course, she left her hair down to bathe, sometimes. (since her hair was down the night she was murdered.) Of course, he explained about the 3 day weekend. Just couldn’t remember if they stayed 2 or 3 days. Better go back in 2 and check, of course no ans. at door. No problem, stay with Dad one more day. ( I remember Drew telling this very same story, in an interview, almost, word for word.)
    I am sure you can think of more, if I missed something.. Made me sick, just listening to him. Drew has had how many years to pound all of those answers in his head? Since he was just 11 years old at the time, it certainly wouldn’t have been hard for Drew to manipulate him into believeing anything, he wanted him to believe. And Steve Peterson had how long to reinforce it in his mind, after Drew was arrested.

    Just too nice and tidy a testimony for me. Covered all the questions, anyone would have about that night. And wouldn’t Drew of all people, know the questions, a juror might have about that night? So between him and his lawyers, they covered ALL the bases with Tom.
    That is why they saved him for last, so ALL the Answers would be fresh in the juries mind, when they went into deliberations. I really hope the jury sees the same Red Flags that you and I see. They are so obvious.
    Thanks for listening. That has really been bugging me.

  65. One more thing, If they are insinuateing that Kathleen was washing her hair in that little tub, because there was a bottle of shampoo in the tub, and Tom said he had seen her wash her hair in a tub. Well, Drew, You screwed up, You should have put 2 blue towels out, One to wrap her long, thick hair in, when she got out, and One to dry her body with. That is 2 towels she would have put out, Not just One. IF Kathleen had put that towel out. Ask any woman if I am not right about that. Besides, I donot believe for one second that she was washing her hair in that tub. She would have used the shower to wash her hair in, but either way, tub or shower, I think she would have put out 2 towels. And that is how I would argue that point in a jury room.

  66. I agree, I have very long and thick hair. and I would need a bigger towel. for my hair and for my body. So…I have kept up with this trial thanks to Justice Cafe and insession.. thank you….Does anyone have an opinion about the verdict? Normally, I can call it.or have an idea…. I believe the State did the best they could do with the restrictions…I just don’t know how much the jury could actually hear being shuffled in and out of the room constantly.

  67. Here is a thought….If Drew thinks this is NOT going in his favor…Do you think he may play the “I will tell you where Stacy Peterson is” for a lighter sentence.. or is he too arrogant? Admission of guilt….hummm Idk???

  68. I think the towel is only interesting because it wasn’t there and then it was. It does happen — that people forget to bring towels into the bathroom and have bathed/showered without a bathmat present (and therefore had to clean up water on the bathroom floor).

    But for that AND the things mentioned above by jeannienphoenix on September 1 @ 1:41 to have happened on that particular day … more than all coincidence.

    The jury may be the ‘we need fingerprints and DNA’ type jury, not the ‘let’s put together the evidence we have’ type jury. I just don’t know.

  69. DId anyone think that Tom may have testified to save his Dad’s police pension, which is how his brothers and sister are being supported! His brother Stephen can not suppoprt them as he is following in his father footsteps , fired from Oakbrook PD, divorced. So Tom being a good brother maybe thinking about how to help take care of the other kids!

  70. Ellie, that sounds like the disgusting B.S. fed to Tom by DP and his dreamer lawyer(s)! Lying on the witness stand is a BAD choice, especially since both Tom and his brother Kris each have half-a-million dollars that could be used to help support the younger kids. Stephen could get a real job too! The lawyer(s) should go to JAIL for putting Tom up to this! As the judge said, that will be for another judge to decide after this trial is ended!

  71. I agree but these kids have been raised in violence and dysfunction. They have learned to survive like so many kids from a home of domestice violence . These kids lived in two homes like that . I cannot imagine what they really feel from their experience. Who knows what Tom really feels and why he took the stand.

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