Hearsay appeal arguments to be heard February 16

Drew Peterson

The Beacon News is reporting that oral arguments will be heard relating to the appeal of excluded hearsay evidence  by Judge White in the Drew Peterson trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio. The oral arguments are scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. on February 16, 2011. This hearing is being held before the Illinois Appellate Court in Ottowa.

These proceedings will be open to the public, although Judge White’s rulings, and all subsequent filings, are currently under seal.

One of the local tv stations has requested that it be allowed to televise the proceedings.

The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office had filed an appeal after Judge White, who has since retired, excluded some of the hearsay evidence they presented at a pretrial hearsay hearing early last year.

UPDATE 1/25/11: Joel Brodsky has announced that Steve Greenberg will be arguing for the defense, assisted by Lisa M. Lopez (wife and law partner of Joe Lopez).

Read the story at Beacon News

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Peterson’s cop son suspended

Stephen Peterson

Peterson’s cop son suspended

August 28, 2010

JOLIET — The Oak Brook cop son of accused wife-killer Drew Peterson was suspended from his job, possibly for his part in hiding an assault rifle from the state police.

Stephen Peterson, a 6-year veteran of the Oak Brook department, was put on paid administrative leave Friday. He declined to discuss the matter.

Stephen Peterson testified in court four days prior to his suspension and admitted to taking possession of an AR-15 and at least one other weapon his father did not want the state police to get their hands on.

From the witness stand Monday, Stephen Peterson recalled that on Oct. 30, 2007, Drew Peterson showed up at his son’s North Aurora home with two or three guns. The weapons were among his father’s “favorites,” Stephen Peterson said, and “he didn’t want anything to happen to them.”

Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, was reported missing the day before Drew Peterson’s visit to his son’s home. Her whereabouts remain a mystery, and the state police suspect Drew Peterson killed her.

More than a year and a half after Stacy vanished, the state police arrested Drew Peterson and charged him with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, who was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. At the time of her death, and for the ensuing three and a half years, the state police insisted that Savio was the victim of a freak bathing accident, only changing their tune after Stacy disappeared.
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Stacy Peterson Search Continues; Witnesses Testify in Drew Peterson’s Illegal Weapons Case

Stacy Peterson search returns to Knox County

Chris Minor

August 23, 2010

Galesburg, IL – Police investigators and dive teams spent much of Monday in a Knox County lake, following up on a tip in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

”This is part of the Stacy Peterson investigation”, confirmed Illinois State Police spokesman Tom Burek.” We’re looking for evidence to follow up on a lead’.”

Several divers searched a stretch of shoreline in Lake Storey near Galesburg Monday. The small lake is just off Route 150. Burek says the search was connected to a previous one in Peoria back in June, and Lake Storey on August 3rd.

”The specifics of the lead, I can’t really discuss. It’s the same lead we’ve been working on since late spring”, Burek said after a police briefing on the search Monday in Galesburg.

Stacy Peterson was a 23-year old mother when she went missing in October of 2007.

Her husband, ex-police officer Drew Peterson is awaiting trial in connection with the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Stacy Peterson was his fourth.

The Lake Storey search ended about five hours after it began, Burek telling News 8 that ”nothing of significance” was found in or near the lake.

”You don’t always hit a homerun”, Burek said. ”We’re going to stay moving forward with this.”

Read Story at WQAD

Also, Peterson appeared in court today for two matters.  One was for a status hearing of the State’s appeal of admissible hearsay statements in the Kathleen Savio murder case.  No further date was assigned, as Judge White indicated nothing more would happen until the Appellate Court issued its ruling.

The second matter was the pending charges relating to unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a rifle shorter than legal length.  During that hearing, testimony was heard by both defense and State witnesses.   Among the witnesses were a Bolingbrook sergeant who worked with Drew Peterson on the Swat team, Peterson’s son Steve, Teresa Peterson, and ISP Agent Hardy.

The defense is mounting a Second Amendment argument against the gun charges. The state statute that bans automatic weapons with barrels under a certain length is being challenged on claims that it violates the right to bear arms, following the McDonald v. Chicago ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court that forced the City of Chicago to toss its handgun ban.

Full Story at CBS Local News

Great on-the-scene updates from Joseph Hosey’s Twitter Feed

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Drew Peterson case: Savio autopsy questioned

Hearing to be held July 2 regarding Steph Watts’ role in Kathleen Savio autopsy.

Authorities exhume the body of Kathleen Savio at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside, Ill.

July 1, 2010

JOLIET–Less than a week before the start of Drew Peterson’s murder trial, prosecutors have called for a hearing to determine what role a cable news producer played in a private autopsy performed on Kathleen Savio’s exhumed corpse.

Steph Watts, a former Fox News Channel producer, filmed and may have assisted celebrity medical examiner Michael Baden during the November 2007 autopsy conducted at the behest of Savio’s family.

Peterson is charged with murdering Savio, who was his third wife, in March 2004. In the aftermath of Savio’s death, state police quickly decided she was the victim of a bathtub accident. But three and a half years later, following the disappearance of Peterson’s next wife, Stacy Peterson, state police abruptly changed course and declared Savio was the victim of a homicide. They charged Peterson with her murder a year and a half later.

Within weeks of Stacy Peterson’s disappearance, State’s Attorney James Glasgow ordered Savio’s grave to be dug up and a new autopsy performed on her decomposed corpse. Baden then conducted his own autopsy, parts of which were shown on Fox, for Savio’s family.

Watts filmed Baden with a hand-held camera during the autopsy. He also took notes. Baden testified during a pretrial hearing that Watts assisted him in moving Savio’s body as well.

Peterson’s attorneys have criticized Watts for his involvement in Baden’s autopsy. They also claim Watts’ autopsy notes included the personal phone number for Joe Francis, the producer of the nudity-laden video line “Girls Gone Wild,” and point to this as proof that the autopsy was flawed.

“This case is autopsies gone wild,” said Peterson attorney Joseph “Shark” Lopez.

Watts failed to return calls for comment on his upcoming court appearance.

Peterson’s lawyers will argue during Friday’s hearing that the autopsy was “irretrievably compromised” and to have Baden barred from testifying.

While Peterson’s lawyers want Baden out, one of his attorneys, Joel Brodsky was eager to get Watts on the witness stand.

When contacted Wednesday, Brodsky said, “I’m very much looking forward to getting Mr. Watts on the witness stand.”

Read story at Herald News

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Peterson lawyers want answers about Peoria dig

UPDATE JUNE 24: Court in session today. Today is the deadline for the ISP to hand over their reports from the Peoria dig. Judge White will review and decide what information will be shared with Peterson’s defense team and possibly rule on some motions regarding hearsay statements.

White is scheduled to rule on the Peoria reports next Tuesday.

Check out the comments thread and Joe Hosey’s Twitter feed for the latest updates.

Peterson lawyers want answers about dig
June 23, 2010

JOLIET — The state police are trying to keep a lid on why they were poking around Peoria for the body of Stacy Peterson, but the lawyers for the missing mother’s husband want to pry that information free.

“We want to know why they’re digging in Peoria,” said Joel Brodsky, the lead attorney for Stacy’s husband — disgraced former cop Drew Peterson.

“We’re curious,” Brodsky said. “For a lot of reasons, we’re curious.”

Peterson is due to stand trial for murder next month — but not for the death of Stacy. He is charged with killing his previous wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004.

Savio was found drowned in a dry bathtub while she and Peterson were in the midst of a contentious divorce. Despite the suspicious circumstances surrounding Savio’s death, the state police insisted she was the victim of a freak bathtub accident until Stacy Peterson — Drew Peterson’s fourth wife — vanished in October 2007.

The state police believe Stacy may also have been slain. Shortly after she disappeared, the state police named Peterson the sole suspect in their investigation, but have yet to charge him with harming her.

Acting on a tip earlier this month, the state police headed to a wooded field outside Peoria and started digging for Stacy’s body. After excavating for 12 hours, the state police gave up and have yet to return. The only remains the state police unearthed were the skeletons of a pair of opossums.

Brodsky, who has taken potshots at the state police since they launched the Peoria search operation, did so again this week.

“The state police finally have it right,” he said. “Stacy is playing possum.” Continue reading

Drew Peterson lawyers asking for trial delay

Drew Peterson was in court today and his lawyers filed a motion requesting a delay in the start of his trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio.

It was just three weeks ago that the team was making statements to the press that they were eager for the trial and would be ready on June 14th, despite losing two of their team to personal conflicts.

“We absolutely want to go on as planned. Drew wants to go to trial June 14, I want to go to trial on June 14 and Mr. Lopez will be ready on June 14,” Brodsky said in a telephone interview…


For their part, Joseph “Shark” Lopez, another of Peterson’s lawyers, said he and his colleagues are primed to go. “We’ll be ready to rock and roll on this case,” Lopez said.

and who could forget…

“These motions aren’t filed to delay the start of the trial,” said Joseph “Shark” Lopez, one of the six lawyers representing the accused wife-killer. “They’re filed for the purpose of protecting Mr. Peterson’s life under the Constitution.

Updates will follow. Check out the comment thread for the latest.

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Drew Peterson Trial Delay?

Defense motions could delay Peterson trial
May 13, 2010

JOLIET — Drew Peterson’s jury is supposed to be picked in exactly a month and a day, but his lawyers are poised to launch a barrage of paperwork that could push back the disgraced former cop’s murder trial.

“These motions aren’t filed to delay the start of the trial,” said Joseph “Shark” Lopez, one of the six lawyers representing the accused wife-killer. “They’re filed for the purpose of protecting Mr. Peterson’s life under the Constitution.”

Another of Peterson’s lawyers, Joel Brodsky, said the defense team has prepared at least nine motions to be presented to Judge Stephen White.

“That’s not unusual for a case of this complexity,” Brodsky said. “There’s a lot of issues we have to get resolved before trial.”

Lopez said he could not go into detail about the motions as they must be filed under seal.

“I’d love to talk about the substance of these motions but I don’t think it would be appropriate at this time,” he said. “I can tell you one thing: They’ll be very interesting.”

Lopez did shed a bit of light on the confidential court filings, saying, “These motions attack some of the evidence” and that they “narrow the issues.” He also said prosecutors might have already received them and that they will be battled over in court.

“These motions will require evidentiary hearings,” Lopez said.  Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, said prosecutors are primed to pick a jury June 14 and that they “will deal with any motions as they’re filed.”

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