Murder-for-hire motions update: physical evidence, clerical errors and conflict of interest

First off, an episode of “Murder Made Me Famous” addresing the Drew Peterson cases premieres on Reelz this Saturday. You’ll see lots of familiar faces and even Cassandra Cales took part in this one. Check your local listings for times and channel.

Meanwhile, preparation for Peterson’s murder-for hire November trial is underway and deep in the motions phase.

On August 21, an order granting the State’s motion for buccal swab and fingerprints was filed. I’m not sure whose mouth and fingerprints are involved, but Judge Richard A. Brown will admit this physical evidence to trial, which is kind of exciting seeing as there was so much made about the lack of physical evidence at Drew Peterson’s last trial.

On Tuesday, the Peterson defense and Illinois State’s attorneys argued a number of motions that were filed last month. The courtroom was closed for about an hour while the states motion to admit prior bad acts was argued. Court was then opened while attorneys argued a defense motion to supress wire tap evidence.

Peterson’s motion argues that the wire tap evidence against him has a number of problems that should keep it from being heard at trial. For one thing, they say that the consent to record form was not filled out or signed properly. The form authorizes eavesdropping on conversations between Peterson and a man named Stephen Nardi, who has nothing to do with the case (the actual informant is alleged to be named Antonio Smith, a former convict now living under an assumed name in a different state). This is most likely a clerical error – but is it bad enough to keep out the wire taps?

The motion also argues that the investigation into the conspiracy charges was initiated by Jame Glasgow, which was a conflict of interest seeing as he was the intended victim of the crime, and further, that Will County Judge, Richard Schoenstedt, interviewed Smith before the consent was given for a wire tap, again creating a conflict of interest.

The Randolph County Herald Tribune reports that:

Illinois Senior Assistant Attorney General Bill Elward said during the hearing that there are “extensive mentions” of Glasgow in the recordings that contain “animosity” regarding why Peterson hates Glasgow and wants to have him killed.

“The defendant makes numerous statements that he wants Jim Glasgow killed,” (Assistant Attorney General Steve) Nate told Brown. “Those are his words. There’s no going around those words.”

The defense also argued that there was no written affidavit provided before the wire tap took place. “Informant A” alleges that he has a letter from Drew Peterson stating that he wants James Glasgow to be killed, but he is not able to provide it.

The state argued to admit evidence about Peterson’s prior attempt to solicit the murder of Kathleen Savio.  Jeffrey Pachter testified at Peterson’s trial for the murder of Savio that in 2003 Drew had asked him to find someone who could kill his wife for $25,000.

“That may have happened in Will County, but they haven’t proven in this county that Drew Peterson hired someone to kill his third wife,” Peterson’s attorney, Lucas Liefer, said.

Brown asked both counsels to submit a “checklist” of issues, stating that he had made some notes during the nearly two-and-a-half hour hearing on what he has to rule on.

“I just want to make sure I cover each one of these trial issues,” he said. “I’ll read all of this and think about it and give a written order. If I miss something, let me know.”

Here’s a rundown of case updates for the month of August:

08/18/2015 Subpoena Duces Tecum issued. People’s Response to the Defendant’s Supplemental Motion for Discovery on file

08/18/2015 Motions argued.

08/21/2015 Order Granting State’s Motion for Buccal Swab and Fingerprints on file.

08/24/2015 Motion to Suppress on file. Motion to Suppress Evidence on file. Petition for Expert Fees on file. Notice of Hearing on file. (Hearing on petition for expert fees 9-29-15, 11am) Proof of Service on file,

08/24/2015 Order Granting Defense Request to File Exhibits Under Seal on file. Exhibits filed under seal. (Filed in locked exhibit cabinet 1A)

08/28/2015 Reply to Defendant’s Motion to Suppress Evidence on file.

08/31/2015 Reply to People’s Motion in Limine to Admit Evidence of Other Crimes on file. Reply to People’s Motion to Admit Relevant Evidence of Defendant’s Conduct and Other Acts Evidence on file.

09/01/2015 Order on file. (Rulings on motion for discovery filed 7-23-15)

09/02/2015 Sealed motion to admit relevant evidence was opened and copied for Judge Brown. Sealed exhibits were opened and exhibits d & e were copied for Judge Brown.

I sure would love to have access to exhibit cabinet 1A.


Four years since Drew Peterson’s arrest for murder. What has changed?

another new mugLast Tuesday marked four years since Drew Peterson was arrested and charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. So, what has transpired since then?

Trial Status

Today: Jury selection for Drew Peterson’s trial began on July 23, 2012. Opening statements began on July 31st and the first witness was also called that day. Testimony continued through August 30. Closing arguments were heard on September 4 and jury deliberations began. On September 6, after two days and 14 hours of deliberations, the jury found Drew Peterson guilty in the first degree of murdering Kathleen Savio. On February 21st Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison, minus the four years he spent in jail awaiting trial. Peterson was moved from the Will County Adult Detention Center, where he had been living since his arrest, to Stateville Prison and then was transferred shortly thereafter to Pontiac Prison and then Menard Correctional Facility. The City of Bolingbrook is reviewing the status of Peterson’s $79,000/year pension to see if it can be revoked.

Legal Representation

Today: Immediately after Peterson’s murder conviction, his defense team began to publicly point fingers and blame each other for losing the case. Paving the way for an appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel, Joel Brodsky first got in Drew’s ear and was able to get Steven Greenberg fired from the defense team. But by October, Greenberg had spoken to Drew and was back on the team. Soon after, a team of three attorneys who had not represented Peterson in the murder trial filed a motion of ineffective assistance against Joel Brodsky. After much public and private name calling, letter writing, and motion filingJoel Brodsky withdrew from Peterson’s defense. He then filed a defamation suit against Steve Greenberg, two media outlets and specific reporters. Attorney David Peilet of Clarendon Hills and John Heiderscheidt joined the defense team. At a post-sentencing hearing, Judge Edward Burmila said that he was “shocked” at comments Brodsky had made on TV regarding his representation of Drew Peterson and had a transcript of the hearing sent to the ARDC. In March of 2013, the rest of Peterson’s defense team announced that they were stepping aside and turning over the appellate phase of Peterson’s defense to the state public defender’s office.

One year ago: In September, Attorney Walter Maksym was asked to “step aside” from the legal team after he was criticized by the federal appeals court for filing “unintelligible” court papers that were “riddled with errors”. As the case neared trial, it was announced that Atty Joe Lopez would be presenting closing arguments.

Two years ago: After months of rumors of arguing and even a physical incident, Reem Odeh left the partnership and withdrew from the Peterson defense team in September 2010. In February of 2011, Lisa Lopez, wife of Joe Lopez, assisted with the oral arguments regarding the hearsay decision before the Appellate court, which were presented by Steven Greenberg.

Three years ago: Andrew Abood and George Lenard withdrew from the case in April of 2010, citing irreconcilable differences with Joel Brodsky. John Paul Carroll had a complaint filed against him in September and appears to have left the case. Attorneys from Brodsky & Odeh, Steven A. Greenberg and Associates, Law Offices of Meczyk Goldberg, Joseph R. Lopez, P.C., and Walter P. Maksym Jr. then made up the “Seven Samurai” representing Peterson in court.

Four years ago: Brodsky & Odeh, Abood Law, and John Paul Carroll represented Drew Peterson. George D. Lenard joined the case in December of 2009.

Media Exposure

Today: Drew Peterson was able to address the court and the public with a statement at his sentencing hearing. Rather than expressing remorse, he shouted out “I did not kill Kathleen” and then issued a long self-pitying rant.

One year ago: The Sun-Times continued to shill for Peterson. On April 17 they featured a sympathetic story and cover photo of Drew Peterson after the state won their appeal to get more evidence admitted to his trial for murder.

Two years ago: Despite the gag order prohibiting interviews, Peterson spent 2011 writing letters and statements that were provided to the media, in particular to gossip columnist for the Chicago Sun Times, Michael Sneed.

Three years ago: Drew was prohibited from giving interviews to the press.

Four years ago: Drew’s last interview was given over the phone to a WLS radio show host, Eric Mancow Muller, from jail on May 27, 2009. He also gave one other in-jail phone interview on May 15, to Matt Lauer of the Today show.


Today: Judge Burmila presided over Peterson’s trial and sentencing.

One year ago: On May 4, 2012, Judge Edward Burmilla was assigned to the case.

Two years ago: Judge Stephen White retired in October 2010.

Three years ago: Judge Stephen White presided over the case.

Four years ago: Judge Richard Schoenstedt was first assigned to the case; then Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes and finally Judge Stephen White. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney made the new appointments. Judge Daniel J. Rozak set Peterson’s bond.

Hearsay Evidence

Today: The defense continued to file motions to bar as  much of the hearsay evidence as possible leading up to Peterson’s trial. They were also able to challenge each piece of hearsay evidence as it was introduced at trial and were able to keep out more in that way. At trial Kathleen Savio’s sisters and some friends were allowed to testify to statements she had made to them about fearing Drew Peterson would kill her. Pastor Neil Schori was only allowed to testify to what Stacy had told him alone. The discussions he had with Drew and Stacy in their home were deemed inadmissible. Scott Rossetto’s testimony was also deemed unreliable after the prosecution made some errors with the dates and he didn’t get to take the stand. Although the defense had fought to keep out the testimony of Attorney Harry Smith, whom Stacy Peterson had called with questions about a possible divorce, eventually it was Joel Brodsky who called him to the stand in an attempt to impeach Stacy’s words to Neil Schori. Smith testified that Stacy had asked if she could get more money out of Drew if she threatened to tell “how” he had killed Kathleen Savio. Many believe this to be the evidence that cinched the conviction. A final breakdown of witnesses shows that more than 85% of the evidence presented at Drew Peterson’s trial was physical, forensic and circumstantial. Less than 15% was hearsay. Although media reports were quick to cite “Drew’s Law” as being a factor in the introduction of hearsay to Peterson’s trial, those reports were erroneous as the state had earlier asked the appellate court to reconsider Judge White’s hearsay rulings under the common law rules of forfeiture and they agreed.

One year ago: After the appellate court did not reconsider the barred hearsay statements due to a missed deadline, the State appealed to the Illinois Supreme Court which decided that the appellate court should consider the evidence on its merits. In April the appellate court reversed Judge White’s decision and decided that the hearsay statements were reliable and admissible in court. Peterson’s defense announced that they would not appeal and wanted instead to go to trial.

Two years ago: The judge’s decision regarding the hearsay statements was leaked in July 2010, revealing that possibly fewer than five of the 15 statements being considered were to be allowed. This decision was appealed by the prosecution. During February oral arguments before the appellate justices, States Attorney Jim Glasgow was asked what he now wanted to “hang” his argument on. Glasgow said that he chose “804 (b)” or, in other words the common law doctrine that is part of the Illinois Rules of Evidence (rather than the so-called “Hearsay Law”).

Three years ago: In October 2009, Peterson’s defense lost a motion to declare the act unconstitutional. Hearsay evidence and witnesses were heard during hearings in January 2010.

Four years ago: The Hearsay Statue (Drew;s Law) was passed into legislation November, 2008

Peterson Family

Today: In November 2007, a Federal judge threw out Stephen Peterson’s lawsuit against the Village of Oakbrook and Thomas Sheahan. Peterson then went back to Illinois Circuit court to try to get back his job, but lost that complaint in March of 2013.
Kathleen Savio’s two sons, Thomas and Kristopher are in college. Thomas Peterson testified on his father’s behalf towards the end of his trial.

One year ago: Stephen Peterson was appealing his dismissal and filed a Federal lawsuit in July 2011.

Two years ago: In August 2009, Stephen Peterson was suspended for accepting and hiding weapons for his father, shortly after the disappearance of Stacy Peterson. In February 2010, Peterson was fired from Oak Brook Police Force and appealed his dismissal.  Thomas Peterson wrote a letter and made a filing asking to be removed from the Savio family’s civil suit against Drew Peterson. This has not been granted yet. Tom Peterson was chosen as valedictorian of his graduating class.

Four years ago: Drew’s four youngest children were left in the care of their step-brother, Oak Brook Police Officer, Stephen Peterson.

Savio Family

Today: Sue Savio has continued to make appearances to speak out about her sister and against domestic violence. Anna Savio Doman and Henry Savio are still pursuing a wrongful death suit against Drew Peterson.

Cales Family

Today: Cassandra Cales continues to search for her sister.

Drew’s Love Life

Today: Drew Peterson continues to enjoy correspondence with numerous pen pals.

One year ago: Gossip columnist Michael Sneed reported that Peterson had over 20 pen pals (male and female), at least four of whom contributed to his funds at the commissary so that he could enjoy snacks while he awaited trial.

Two years ago: In August 2010 we heard that Christina Raines was engaged to a new man. In February 2011 we obtained a photo of Chrissy with her fiancé. In April 2011, an old acquaintance of Drew’s, Diana Grandel, released some letters from Drew in which he made sexual comments to her and offered Stacy’s clothing to her.

Three years ago: In January Raines posted a status update on her Facebook page stating, “I met someone who i fell in love with and very happy with. I think i just about gave up on drew with all his lies i dont even really visit him anymore.” and then, “But his kids i love dearly and still visit with them they are good kids”

Four years ago: Christina Raines was at the house that Drew and Stacy Peterson shared at the time or his arrest and was also taken into custody. She removed her belongings from his home shortly afterwards. Raines is on the list to visit Drew in jail.


Today: All quiet on the part of Drew Peterson. His legal team seems to have picked up the torch as far as media shenanigans. Restaurateur Jeff Ruby attended Drew Peterson’s trial and was charged with contempt when he reportedly mouthed “Fuck you” at Peterson. Ruby went on to offer a $100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of Stacy Peterson’s remains.

One year ago: Besides frequent mundane snippets in the gossip columns about Peterson’s life in prison, all has been quiet.

Two years ago: While Drew’s bids for attention were mostly curtailed due to his detention, his lawyer and PR people continued to pepper the news with updates and letters from him detailing everything from his life in jail to his opinions about the legal decisions regarding his children. Kathleen’s oldest son, Tom, was the subject of news stories and wrote his own letters to the press in support of his father.

Three years ago: Soon after Drew’s arrest he attempted to have his motorcycle auctioned off on eBay. He was asking for $50,000 and offered to apply a decal with his signature on the bike. eBay removed the auction for violation of its “murderabilia” rules.

Four years ago: At the time Drew was arrested, he was preparing to fly out to the Bunny Ranch Brothel in Reno, Nevada, to see if he would be a good fit as head of security there.

Stacy Peterson

Today: Areas of Hammel Woods in Shorewood were searched for five days in November 2012, utilizing the FBI and cadaver dogs. Some officials stated that it was a training mission, while others told the press that they were indeed looking for the remains of Stacy Peterson. Nothing was found.

One year ago: Airings of the movie, “Drew Peterson: Untouchable” brought about some new tips and offers of assistance in regards to the search for Stacy Peterson.

Two years ago: In August 2010, based on a tip, searches for Stacy’s remains took place near Peoria. No evidence was found.

Three years ago: Still missing with no sightings or communication from her.

Four years ago: Missing. No communication from her since October 28, 2007. Searches were ongoing.

Why can’t jurors see the tub where Kathleen Savio died?

GRAPHIC CONTENT: Click the photo below to view the unblurred version.

Kathleen Savio lies dead in her tub on March 1, 2004

Kathleen Savio lies dead in her tub on March 1, 2004

On Tuesday, Judge Edward Burmila ruled that the bathtub in which Drew Peterson‘s third wife drowned can not be brought into court at his trial for her murder.

State police had removed the tub in 2008 after Kathleen Savio‘s body was exhumed and a second autopsy found her death to be a homicide. Prosecutors expected it would be a key piece of evidence at trial time. “The bathtub is now essentially the murder weapon,” Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor argued in court, to no avail. The defense successfully argued that there was little value in jurors viewing the tub out of the context of its bathroom setting.

I’m not sure why the judge is keeping the tub out of the courtroom. Obviously, there is evidentiary value in jurors seeing the pace where the victim of a suspicious death was found.

The bathroom where Kathleen was found dead (under new ownership)

There’s nothing unusual about bringing bathtubs into courtrooms, either. It happened just February of this year, during the murder trial of Maryland man in which the victim was found in her bathtub. The tub was brought in to demonstrate where a hand print was found in proximity to where the victim’s head was positioned in the tub.

In the famous Ohio case of Ryan Widmer, a tub was also brought into the courtroom during trial by the prosecution to show that Sarah Widmer was forcibly drowned by her husband. Ryan Widmer was convicted of her murder and remains in prison after being tried three times. Widmer claimed that his wife simply fell asleep during a bath.

It’s possible that by barring the tub, the judge in Peterson’s case is trying to avoid courtroom theatrics like those that occurred during closing arguments in the trial of John Wayne Gacy, when the prosecutor tossed the photos of 22 victims through Gacy’s actual crawl space door which had been brought into the courtroom for that purpose. Burmila stated on Tuesday, “As far as the tub being dramatically brought in–that’s not going to happen under any set of circumstances,”

Although barring it from the courtroom, Judge Burmila did cede that jurors could possibly view the tub if it was re-installed in the bathroom of the house on Pheasant Chase Drive where Kathleen Savio died, so that it would be seen in context.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the homeowners at 392 Pheasant Chase Drive have yet to replace the tub in their bathroom as they have a separate shower in that room which they have been using. It’s possible that they would be amenable to having the tub put back into place for viewing by the jurors.

The bathtub where Kathleen’s body was found. (under new ownership)

Family members, friends and neighbors who have been in that bathroom have expressed disbelief that Savio could have hit her head, lost consciousness and then settled into the position she was found in the tub and these opinions were formed by their knowledge of the specifics of that room and tub. At least two forensic pathologists have concurred.

Considering that during the bungled investigation which took place after Kathleen’s death, so little evidence was actually gathered from the room, one would think that a field trip to view the scene would have a great deal of evidentiary value.

Let the jurors visit the scene, see the bathtub, touch it, even get in the tub if they want to. It’s only fair.

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Drew Peterson loses in last ditch effort to bar hearsay, girlfriend testimony and a letter to Tom Peterson


We’re hearing that the defense wants to have pathologist Dr. Vincent DiMaio testify about the “many” cases of healthy adults drowning in bathtubs. The prosecution asked Judge Burmila to compel him to identify even once instance of this, as he would not do it. The State has their own witness they would like to testify about statistics showing that virtually no healthy adults drown in bathtubs without some sort of drug or alcohol component but the judge decided it was too late to add another witness. (BTW, DiMaio’s own book would seem to counter what he would testify to).


Next hearing date is scheduled for 7/18 at 10:00 am.


In a rather strange ruling, Judge Burmilla has decided that prosecutors cant bring the tub that Savio died in, into the courtroom; but if they have the tub re-installed in the house on Pheasant Chase where she died, that jurors can be brought in to look at it.


The defense lost a motion to bar testimony from one of Peterson’s former girlfriends, Susan McCauley, a woman whom he was having a 9-month affair with while he was married to Kathleen Savio. Prosecutors say the former Bolingbrook police sergeant made conflicting comments to her about what happened to Savio and what caused her death. In another motion argued and lost today the defense team had alleged that Will County Sheriff’s deputies violated Peterson’s privacy by intercepting a letter that he sent to his son, Tom Peterson, away at college in Pennsylvania. Prosecutors convinced the judge that the jail was following written policy and within its rights to intercept detainee communications.


A Will County judge Tuesday morning shot down a last-ditch defense effort to prohibit jurors from hearing testimony about statements made by Kathleen Savio before she died. Attorneys on both sides are expected to spend much of the day hashing out some half-dozen motions. Reporters were asked to leave the courtroom about 11:30 a.m. so attorneys could discuss one motion behind closed doors.


In the last hearing, the defense indicated that one of its motions might require a “Frye hearing”. Frye hearings are generally used for dealing with the admissibility of scientific evidence.

REMINDER: According to the Court Administrator, Drew Peterson’s murder trial will not be broadcast live from inside the courtroom.

The following items are expressly prohibited from the Will County Courthouse:

  • Weapons (or any item that may be used as a weapon in the opinion of Court Security Officers)
  • Cell phones that have a camera and/or recording ability
  • Recording devices
  • Cameras (without the permission of the Chief Judge)
  • Scissors
  • Pepper sprays or Mace
  • Food or beverages

Chicago Tribune
Chicago Sun-Times
Trib Local

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Drew Peterson says his sons lied under oath. Bye-bye alibi…

At Drew Peterson’s latest hearing Judge Burmila ruled that Kathleen Savio waived her attorney-client privilege when she asked her divorce lawyer, Harry Smith, to speak out in the event that anything happened to her. He is now free to testify that Savio spoke and wrote to him about her fears that her husband would kill her and make it look like an accident–fears that he had dismissed as “paranoia” until she was found dead in the bathtub of the home she had shared with Drew Peterson.

Judge Burmila did cede in part to the defense by deciding that in waiving the privilege, Smith would need to testify as to anything that Kathleen had told him in confidence, including any statements that might be inclulpatory. Specifically, the defense is eager to have Smith testify that Savio may have lied under oath during a battery case involving a 2002 incident wherein Kathleen attempted to grab a camcorder from Stacy Peterson.

Defense attorney, Steve Greenberg is so excited at the prospect of smearing the reputation of the dead woman that he couldn’t help but crow to the press that the State might decide to not have Harry Smith testify at all, but “if they don’t, we might.”

Joel Brodsky excitedly posted about the far-reaching implications of a possible Savio perjury exposure on his Facebook page:

…Indications are that Kathy Savio took the stand and denied her guilt, and if that is the case, then she lied under oath in the battery case. If that is shown to be true then nothing Kathy Savio said can be believed or taken as reliable evidence in a court of law.

That’s a very interesting statement. Interesting because it appears that Kathleen Savio was not the only person who may have lied under oath about the incident of May 26, 2002.

In a recent interview with the Sun-Time’s Michael Sneed, Drew Peterson described how it came about that his ex-wife was acquitted of the battery charge. “She punched Stacy once in the face in front of the kids and was arrested. But she was found not guilty because the kids said she didn’t do it,” he is quoted as saying. So, not only did Kathleen Savio lie under oath about striking Stacy Peterson, but so did Tom and Kris Peterson?

Drew Peterson is saying that his sons Tom and Kris lied under oath to protect their mother. According to Joel Brodsky that means that nothing they said can be believed or taken as reliable evidence in a court of law.

This is bad news for Drew Peterson since those two boys are his only alibi for his whereabouts on the weekend of February 28-29, 2004.

Since his arrest in 2009 Peterson’s attorneys have been trotting out Drew’s kids to vouch for him, calling them his “lock-tight alibi”. Thomas Peterson even appeared on TV with is dad to state his belief that his dad is innocent, claiming “I highly do not believe that my dad had murdered my mom because, first off, he wasn’t there. He was with us during that period of time.”

In no way do I mean to accuse those boys of being bad people, or of being in any way involved in the murder of their mother. But I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that children will go to great lengths to please a parent and to fight to keep what family they have intact.

However, if those kids lied under oath once before to protect a parent, what would keep them from doing it again? If it’s true that Savio lied about striking Stacy Peterson then it must also be true that Tom and Kris lied as well, and wouldn’t that destroy their credibility as witnesses for the defense?

By the way, I believe that the Will County Adult Detention Facility records all inmate conversations with visitors. Is it too late for the State to subpoena the recordings of Peterson’s conversation with Sneed?

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Drew Peterson hearing: Kathleen Savio’s attorney and Stacy Peterson’s pastor can testify


 •  Judge Burmila has ruled to waive Kathleen Savio‘s attorney-client privilege and that Harry Smith must testify about all conversation he had with Savio if he is going to testify at all. So that means he can testify that Savio told him she was afraid that Peterson would kill her and make it look like an accident but if he does, he will also need to testify to what Savio told him about her battery cases.

•  Some videos clips of interviews with Drew Peterson have been barred. Judge Burmila said that Peterson comes across as “cold-hearted” in one clip. Not only is the clip barred, but jurors will not even see a transcript of the exchange between Drew Peterson and reporter, Martin Bashir, from a segment filmed for ABC’s Nightline:

•  If prosecutors can lay a foundation, testimony from Stacy Peterson‘s Pastor, Neil Schori can be admitted. Schori will testify that Stacy told him that on the night Kathleen died, Drew Peterson left the house and returned dressed all in black and with a bag of women’s clothing that he put into a washing machine, telling her it was the “perfect crime” and then coaching her for hours on what to tell the police. The defense may object to Schori’s testimony if it is presented in court.

•  Next court date: 07/03/2012 9:30 am
Drew Peterson is in court today. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. CST.

We’ll update this post throughout the day as we receive news.

Make sure to check the comment thread for the latest updates.

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Drew Peterson in court today: Attorney Harry Smith testifies that Kathleen Savio asked him to speak out. Will his testimony be admitted?


Judge Burmila has ruled that the jurors for Peterson’s trial will be chosen from the original jury pool of 175 chosen two years ago


The media has been cleared from the courtroom while the defense argues to bar certain statements from Pastor Neil Schori who met with Stacy Peterson a few weeks before her disappearance. Schori has testified at pre-trial hearings that Stacy told him Drew “did it”, that he killed Kathleen and coached her for hours on what she should say to the police.


Judge Burmila has decided the scene of Kathleen Savio’s death cannot be recreated in court and ruled that three of seven video clips from Peterson are inadmissible.


Judge Burmilla rejects defense motion about prosecution’s alleged lack of evidence and tells them to instead raise objections in court and seek a directed verdict.


The judge is allowing four of the videos (seven total). However, he is allowing the others by the use of transcript. Harry Smtih is testifying that Kathleen Savio was afraid for her life and instructed him to speak out if anything happened to her.


Attorney Smith has testified that he has not told everything that Kathleen Savio told him, considering some of it to fall under attorney-client privilege. Judge Burmila says that he will meet with Smith privately tomorrow to hear him.

  • Burmila rejected a defense motion on the potential pool of jurors. About 175 potential jurors previously filled out a questionnaire and were admonished not to follow news of the case. Peterson’s jurors likely will be picked from the original pool set aside in 2009, despite objections from his defense attorneys
  • Burmila sided with the prosecution in ruling that evidence Peterson owned a lock pick is admissible in court. The defense said there was an inference that Peterson used it and said there is no information as to how the Savio’s killer got in the home.
  • Burmila partially sided with the defense regarding the admission of TV interviews Peterson had given. Three videos were denied while four were deemed admissible. However the transcripts from the videos are admissible. The videos are from various news outlets.
  • Burmila gave a partial victory to the defense in banning, for now, testimony about a demonstration an expert did with a woman of Savio’s size to recreate how she died. The judge said an expert’s testimony will be limited to his observations of the bathtub.
  • Burmila cleared the courtroom of media during arguments over whether statements from Rev. Neil Schori will be allowed in the trial. Prosecutors said they want Schori to testify that Stacy Peterson told him she saw Drew Peterson return home late, dressed in black and carrying a bag of women’s clothing shortly before Savio was found dead. Burmila said he’ll rule on that question next week.
  • Burmila ruled that prosecutors must provide a daily notice of potential witnesses.
  • ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Drew Peterson is in court today for arguments about pre-trial motions in advance of his trial for murder which begins at the end of July.

    We’ll be updating this post throughout the day and keeping track of proceedings in the comments thread.

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