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.

Drew Peterson hearing today: No reduced sentence, Brodsky to face the music with ARDC

This morning Drew Peterson was taken on a six-hour drive to attend a hearing before Judge Edward Burmila.

The judge denied a motion to reduce Peterson’s 38-year prison sentence to 20 years. He still must serve out the remaining 34 years of the sentence (subtracting the four years he spent in detainment before trial).

Judge Burmila also denied a motion that would keep Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky, from talking publicly about the case and allegedly violating attorney-client privilege. However he did indicate that he felt Brodsky had decided poorly when making the media rounds after Peterson’s sentencing and asked the clerk to send a transcript of Tuesday’s hearing and the motion that prompted it to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Judge Burmila told the court:

I wish I could think of a word beyond, ‘shocked,’ that I could apply to Mr. Brodsky’s appearance on television.

He was referring to this appearance that Joel Brodsky made on WGN news the morning of February 22 in which he explained his decision to put a controversial witness on the stand and defended his approach to publicity.

According to Joel Brodsky, the Illinois rules of professional conduct allow him to defend himself against allegations of misconduct, and that is what he was doing in that interview and others.

Read more at the Herald-News

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“I did not kill Kathleen!” Read Drew Peterson’s full courtroom speech

Drew was transferred to the Pontiac Correctional center after a short visit to Stateville.

The court has released the transcript of the statement he made shortly before his 38-year sentence was handed down.

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Post Drew Peterson Sentencing: Joel Brodsky turns on Peterson

Not 24 hours after Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the killing of Kathleen Savio, Joel Brodsky was taking to the air waves to try to put some distance between himself and his one time partner-in-publicity.

On a local news show Brodsky claimed that he had never seen Peterson act or sound the way he did in court yesterday when he blurted out, “I did not kill Kathleen”, and then launched into a long self-pitying rant in his own defense.

“Maybe he’s right” Brodsky said about his one-time foe, States Attorney Jim Glasgow, who said that the outburst showed us “the real Drew Peterson”.

Brodsky also took to Facebook in an attempt to exonerate himself from claims that he had made a horrific blunder during Peterson’s trial by calling attorney Harry Smith to the witness stand. Even Judge Stephen Burmila had warned the defense that calling this witness could be risky to Peterson’s defense as he was liable to give testimony that put Drew Peterson at the scene of Kathleen’s death.

The decision to call Harry Smith was called out in Peterson’s motion for a new trial which was denied yesterday, shortly before his sentencing. Although Brodsky was took the stand to testify about his financial arrangements with Peterson, he was never questioned about the Harry Smith matter.

Brodsky wrote:

Joel A. Brodsky, Attorney at Law
2 hours ago

Here is the true story on why Harry Smith was called to testify:

Drew Peterson was convinced that we needed to impeach Stacy’s hearsay. He said that we either had to do it in by using Stacy’s alibi statement or by calling Harry Smith to testify that Stacy was trying to extort him. Drew said that if we didn’t do one or the other than he would insist on taking the stand himself. It was Drew’s right to take the stand if he wanted to, it was his decision, and we couldn’t stop him if he wanted to. We all knew that if Drew took the stand it would have been a disaster, 100% guaranteeing a conviction. Therefore if we were to have any chance of winning we had to either get Stacy’s alibi in, or call Smith, risky as calling Smith may be.

First Attorney Steve Greenberg was supposed get the alibi into evidence through one of the state police officers he was designated to call, Sgt. Collins. However, he failed to do it, and that left no choice but to call Harry Smith. I knew that Smith would be a difficult and risky witness , so instead of putting him off on some other lawyer on the team I felt that as lead lawyer I would be the one who called Smith because it was dangerous, and since I was lead it fell on me to take the risk (being a leader isn’t just a title, it means you take responsibility). Therefore, I was the attorney who called Harry Smith.

All of the attorneys on the team agreed that Harry Smith had to be called. I have both documentary and independent eye witness evidence that Steve Greenberg specifically agreed that Harry Smith should be called to testify.

I didn’t disclose this earlier because Drew’s post-trial motions were pending, and as much as I knew the argument being made was wrong, Drew was still my former client, and I didn’t want to take any action that would prejudice his chances for a new trial. Now that the motion for new trial is denied, I can let the truth about this subject be known.

What should make you mad is that Attorney Steve Greenberg knew all this and was still attempted to put the entire loss on me even though he agreed with the decision to call Harry Smith, made calling Harry Smith a certainty by failing to get the Stacy alibi into evidence, and understood that if we didn’t call him that Drew would take the stand. Greenberg’s intentional and knowing lies about me to the public and the court are reprehensible and he will be held to account for them.

Joel Brodsky has also been stating on camera that Peterson’s current defense team is abandoning his case to the State Appellate Defenders – something that Steve Greenberg denies although attorney Joe Lopez stated this morning on that same news show that he will not be a part of the appellate team (go to 03:35):

Joel Brodsky has filed a suit claiming defamation against Steve Greenberg, the Tribune company and AOL Patch.

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Drew Peterson cries out, “I did not kill Kathleen!” but is sentenced to 38 years in prison

UPDATE 03:37:

Judge Burmila begins to hand down the sentence. He won’t consider Stacy Peterson disappearance (Peterson could still be charged with this). “This crime happened by stealth.” “It had to have been planned in advance.” Judge notes that Peterson showed no remorse and did not take responsibility for Savio’s death. Burmila on sentencing: “It’s not an exact science. The court is not Solomon.” “This sentence must be served in its entirety.” Burmila sentenced Drew Peterson to 38 years in prison. Judge says Drew Peterson will get credit for 4 years served but will serve 100% of his sentence.

UPDATE 03:01:

Drew Peterson shouts: “I DID NOT KILL KATHLEEN!” Peterson outburst shocks the courtroom. Peterson says “I’ve been forced to sit silent.” Judge throws out a Savio relative after she says yells back “Yes, you did!” Peterson says prosecutors and police officers falsified, lost evidence in one of the most expensive investigations in county history. Peterson complaining of false police reports, “rumors, gossip, outrageous lies and most importantly, unreliable hearsay.” Peterson said Schori promised him and Stacy “anything we talked about would remain personal and private and would never be repeated.” Peterson says the courts violated the clergy privilege by revealing info from counseling session. Judge ruled otherwise. Peterson : “Hearsay’s a scary thing.” “Nobody’s accountable for the truth.” Peterson’s voice is quivering as he speaks. He sounds angry. Peterson says evidence used to convict him were “all statements made by women who were trying to better position themselves.” In divorce, “everybody lies. And everybody lies basically under the instructions of their own attorneys.” Peterson choking back tears as he recalls his kids telling him that they lied to protect their mom in a court hearing a decade ago. Peterson calls both Kathleen and Stacy liars. Says that Stacy had a crush on Rev. Neil Schori. Peterson now criticizing prosecutors for using a “skinny-butt” spokesperson — a family friend of Stacy Peterson’s – as a mouthpiece. Peterson says all this went on “under the eyes and nose” of the court. Peterson is now going through autopsy results, reminding the judge that a coroner’s jury determined Savio’s was an accident. Peterson just asked for a glass of water. Peterson says he “may be redundant with a lot of things, but I need to say them.” Peterson says authorities took “an accident and staged a homicide.” Peterson on his time as a cop: “My conduct was exemplary.” Says he was probably one of the highest decorated officers. Peterson still talking in court, There’s no time limit for him so he’s going through all the trial arguments. Peterson says “I was viewed as a great guy and in moments the media turned me into a monster.” Peterson says that as soon as he’s able he’s getting a shoulder-to-shoulder tattoo that reads “no good deed goes unpunished.” Peterson says he loved Kathy Savio, she didn’t deserve to die. She was a good mom, kept a nice home. And then he starts trashing her. Peterson says Kathy Savio was emotionally unstable from a childhood filled with physical and sexual abuse. Peterson says Kathy cried on their wedding night because her dad didn’t show up to walk her down the aisle. Peterson say he paid for Kathy Savio’s funeral, prompting a family member to shout: “That’s a lie, right there!” Peterson on Dr. Baden: “He cut off the head of the mother of my children …” voice rising, rest inaudible. Peterson talks, three family members are listening in the overflow room after being tossed from courtroom. Peterson : “Mr. Glasgow, all aspects of my life have been destroyed and I tell you this to give you greater cause for celebration when you celebrate the fact that you perpetrated the largest railroad job that ever took place in this country.” “Anything you sentence me to, you’re sentencing me to the Department of Corrections to die.” Peterson says he “can’t believe he spent 32 years defending the constitution that allowed this to happen to me. “America should be outraged but nobody cares.” “I take full responsibility for my relationship with the media.” “I agreed to go on national TV to tell my side of the story.” “It’s pretty clear the state took part in that movie.” He calls Nancy Grace a “busy body”. “I am an obnoxious man by nature…and my defense mechanism is comedy.” Peterson in closing: “I don’t deserve this.” Peterson tells Glasgow to look him in they eye.

UPDATE 02:07:

Joe Lopez now arguing for Drew Peterson. No matter what sentence Drew Peterson gets, it won’t deter spouses from fighting and killing each other. “These things have been going on since the birth of man.” He points to Chicago’s murder rate as proof. “Even the minimum sentence puts him at the end of the spectrum of his life.” Drew Peterson sentence won’t deter others from domestic violence: “There’s commandments about it as old as Moses.” Drew has no prior criminal history as a child. Drew has led a law-abiding life until the moment he was convicted. Peterson has done some good things in life. He worked for Burger King as a teen, worked at a shoe store. Joined the Army. Lopez points out letters of recommendation, including one from 1994 by Glasgow’s office commending Drew Peterson and others for police work. Lopez tells judge that Drew put his life on the line as a cop. “That has to count for something,” he says. Regarding fight between Drew Peterson and Savio witnessed by Drew’s son Eric, “It takes two to tango.” “Drew loved his children more than he hated any of the women he was with.” Peterson has maintained “since Day One” that Savio’s death was an accident. Still no physical evidence. there is nothing in the record that would indicate “this” would happen again. An excessive sentence would be a hardship to Drew Peterson ‘s children. The court must punish Drew, but asks the judge not punish his children even more than they have been. Drew has twice been treated for skin cancer since his May 2009 arrest. Our lives have changed because of the media coverage. … People in the other room are tweeting about what I’m saying.” In Drew’s “private life things weren’t that good.” But in his public life “he did do good things.” Peterson might not have been the best husband in the world. Lopez asks for sentence closer to 20 years.

UPDATE 01:52:

Glasgow about to make his recommendation for Drew Peterson sentencing. He asks judge to take into consideration the fact that another judge found Drew likely killed Stacy Peterson too. Glasgow tells judge “the unconditional love that the children need from their parents has been ripped from them.” Glasgow says Drew’s actions denied four children of their mothers — and now their father, too. Reminds judge that Drew’s second wife testified at an earlier hearing about suffering abuse during their marriage. Glasgow also mentions testimony from Drew Peterson’s son, Eric, about how Peterson attacked Savio. He asks the judge to recall Drew Peterson soliciting a potential hit man to kill Savio. Drew Peterson received financial gain after Savio’s death. “The compensation was enormous.” Peterson is pathological and could kill again if he was set free. Drew Peterson orchestrated the finding of Savio’s body, and was interviewed “on friendly terms” by police. Police officer is the most noble profession in society. “But Drew Peterson violated it at the highest level.” This sentence needs to send a very strong message, that this will not be tolerated. Defense will argue for leniency because of his police service. Prosecutors say it should be harsher because society trusted Drew. Glasgow asks for sentence in “higher range” of 20-60 years.

UPDATE 01:44:

Drew Peterson’s ex-brother-in-law Henry Savio Jr. is now reading his statement. “Drew Peterson murdered my sister, Kathleen. He took away a mother, a sister and a friend. My sister always wanted children. She always wanted to be a mother. The relationship with her kids, Tom and Kris, was destroyed because Drew Peterson did not allow us to be in their lives. Drew Peterson broke into her house. He terrorized her. He brutalized her. And then he drowned her. It makes me sick to know that he was the last person she ever saw”
Henry Savio says he will mend his relationship with Kathleen’s boys while Drew Peterson is “rotting away in jail.”
“I pray that during the last minutes of his life, he is able to clearly see her and she is watching his dissension into hell. He took Kathleen’s future and now she has taken his. She was afraid of Drew Peterson, but I know in her last hours she stood up to him.”

UPDATE 01:38:

Kathleen Savio’s sister, Susan Doman, now reading her victim impact statement. “I can hardly stand the pain at times. The thought of the last night of her life will always be with me. My sister Kathleen was my rock through my life. I always looked up to her even though she was younger than me. She told me we were family, and no one could take that away.” Doman is in tears on the stand.
“She had a big heart for her family. She did not deserve to be brutally murdered. During the divorce she lived in fear, and I knew the defendant would kill her one day. She only wanted to live in peace and go on with her life. The defendant took that away…He shows no remorse. Drew took everything away from Kathleen when he decided to take her life. This was a big joke to him, and he loved all the attention.”
Susan Doman asks Judge Burmila to give her sister justice “once and for all.”

UPDATE 01:33:

Kathleen Savio’s sister, Anna Marie Doman, now on the stand to deliver her victim impact statement. “Kathleen Savio was my baby sister. She will never see…her own boys have families of their own. Our family is forever broken. I still can’t believe I will never hug her or hear her voice again. I still talk to her. I sure hope she can hear me.”

UPDATE 01:08:

Restaurateur Jeff Ruby has arrived in his steakhouse bus. He is in the hallway of the courthouse but sheriffs are not sure he can be allowed inside after the contempt of court charge he received for mouthing words at Drew Peterson during the trial. “I didn’t drive all the way out here to not be allowed in,” he says.
Court is in session.
Judge Burmilla says he has read all submitted documents. He says that conversation between Rev. Schori and Stacy was not covered by clergy privilege. Says that Drew Peterson sought publicity on his own. Not unreasonable for Peterson and Brodsky to seek media attention pre-indictment. Drew Peterson clearly shares part of the blame for Brodsky entering into media contract.
Burmila says it was clear to him from the very beginning that Brodsky was not capable of defending Drew Peterson on his own. But that does not mean Drew Peterson did not get the vigorous defense he was entitled to from his entire legal team.
The judge rules no new trial for Drew Peterson.

UPDATE 09:55:

Press Release from the State’s Attorney’s office:

Update: Drew Peterson Sentencing Thursday, February 21

Judge Edward Burmila will rule on the defense post-trial motion for a new trial in People V. Peterson at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 21. If he denies the motion, the case will proceed to sentencing. After Judge Burmila announces a sentence:

• The press is asked to go to Joliet City Hall for a post-sentencing news conference. We will begin the conference roughly 30-45 minutes after a sentence is announced.
• State’s Attorney Glasgow and his trial team will be available to make a statement, discuss the case and answer media questions.
• Kathleen Savio’s and Stacy Peterson’s family members will be available for comments as well as possibly other witnesses from the trial.

Joliet City Hall is located at 150 W. Jefferson Street
One block west of the Will County Courthouse

State’s Attorney Glasgow once again would like to thank Mayor Tom Giarrante and City Manager Tom Thanas for allowing us to bring this news conference indoors to the newly remodeled City Council Chambers.

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No decision on Drew Peterson motion for new trial

UPDATE 05:19:

Judge asks prosecutor, “Are you saying Stacy was an accomplice in Savio’s death?” Prosecutor suggests she misunderstood, then “No, I’m not saying that.”
Groans erupt in the overflow courtroom when the judge asks the defense if they want to make another comment.
Judge taking the arguments under advisement. Court adjourns until 1 p.m. Thursday.

UPDATE 03:18:

Sentencing likely not going to happen until Thursday.
Court is back in session, Attorney Peilet is rehashing Rev. Schori’s testimony. Neil Schori is in the courtroom.
Defense going through entire trial point by point, trying to show that state failed to prove case.
Arguments moving on to issue of state suggesting initial investigation of Savio’s death could have been more thorough.
Court in recess. Judge says they will finish today but sentencing tomorrow. (Indicates that he will not grant motion?)
Greenberg says Stacy’s conversation with Harry Smith was privileged, and nobody should have been able to call him as a witness. Brodsky’s decision to call Harry Smith allowed in the “most incriminating”. “that strategy alone should mean Peterson gets a new trial” evidence presented at trial.
Judge Burmila aks, “Do you believe lawyers should have brought mistake to court’s attention once Smith was called?”
Joel Brodsky is in press room listening to Greenberg and loudly sighing, putting his hand over his eyes.
Greenberg says lawyers were bullied by Brodsky during trial. “It was a dictatorship”.
Judge Burmila says if lawyers disagreed with Brodsky calling Harry Smith, they could have told him or asked to quit case.
The state says it’s not surprising that, with six lawyers on a case, there was some dissension. Drew Peterson ultimately chose the strategy. Also that Reem Odeh once argued the media frenzy wasn’t Drew Peterson’s fault, that he needed to “explain the rumors.” (white noise). Also that Drew Peterson knew about the publicity contract so he should have mentioned the conflict of interest to the court if there was one.
Prosecutor Marie Czech says calling Smith was strategic decision by defense, “they needed to do something” because their case was in trouble. Says Peterson had six attorneys, with more than 100 yrs of experience. If there was a disagreement, Peterson chose to go with Brodsky.

UPDATE 01:26:

Court back in session. Attorney Greenberg calls State’s Attorney James Glasgow. Lawyers now argue about whether he can testify. Glasgow objects to being called as well. The judge wants to know why the “Gift from God” statement made by Glasgow outside of the court room is important to this issue. Defense says Glasgow statement undercuts his argument that calling Harry Smith was just trial strategy. Judge still listening. Judge rules that Glasgow doesn’t have to testify. “I don’t see the relevance,” Judge Edward Burmila says. And that’s the end of the defense witnesses and prosecution has no witnesses.
Prosecution now asking judge to strike parts of the defense motion for a new trial before judge hears closing arguments.
Retrial hearing winding up now as defense runs down the unfolding of the trial; alleges lack of evidence, inadequate counsel, etc. Defense says that the Savio case only gained attention when Stacy Peterson missing person case became “national fodder”.
John Heiderscheidt now arguing that state did not prove its case against Drew Peterson – there was not sufficient evidence to convict.
Prosecution now speaks. They say that Drew Peterson made multiple statements about how he could kill Savio and make it look like an accident. The jury heard evidence that Savio’s death was a homicide, that Drew Peterson threatened to kill her and that Stacy provided an alibi.
Defense attorney Greenberg now arguing 2010 hearsay hearing violated Drew Peterson’s fifth amendment rights.
The State counters, saying that Drew Peterson’s rights were “scrupulously represented” at the hearsay hearing.
Lawyers continue to argue over evidence presented in trial. Defense tactic includes saying attorneys at hearsay hearing didn’t know the law.

UPDATE 10:54:

Greenberg calls retired Judge Daniel Locallo to the stand to explain how the Peterson murder case was lost by the defense. He describes his years of experience. Attorneys are arguing over whether Locallo can testify as an expert. Judge Burmila decides that he can testify. Locallo testifies that someone should have told Burmila about Brodsky/Peterson’s publicity contract and that calling Harry Smith to the stand was not a “reasonable” trial strategy. Locallo says that before Brodsky called Harry Smith, the jury had not heard evidence that Drew Peterson killed Kathleen Savio, dooming Peterson. Recess before cross-examination.
Cross-examination of Locallo begins. Prosecutor: Attorney Lopez had said during the closing statements that they did not “hide” Harry Smith from the jury. Locallo says he’s never seen other members of a legal team object on the record to a fellow team member’s strategy. Prosecutor points out that Greenberg objected on the record to Brodsky’s strategy, saying there was “about to be a mutiny”
Court in recess until 1:15 p.m.

UPDATE 10:43:

Court is session. Attorney Greenberg wants to address his motion to strike the state’s exhibits. Prosecution made allegations about things he and Lopez said in news articles, and it shouldn’t be part of the record. The State argues that Greenberg referred to news articles and broadcasts in his court filings.
Burmila denies the motion to strike.

UPDATE 09:45:

Press Release from the State’s Attorney’s office:

Drew Peterson Sentencing Wednesday, February 20

The hearing on post-trial motions in People V. Peterson is expected to conclude Wednesday, February 20. The case could proceed to sentencing later today. If that is the case:

After Judge Burmila announces a sentence, the press is asked to go to Joliet City Hall for a post-sentencing news conference. We will begin the conference roughly 30-45 minutes after a sentence is announced.
State’s Attorney Glasgow and his trial team will be available to make a statement, discuss the case and answer media questions.

Kathleen Savio’s and Stacy Peterson’s family members will be available for comments as well as possibly other witnesses from the trial.

This post will be updated throughout the day but check the comments thread below for the most recent news and tweets.

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Drew Peterson in court today. Joel Brodsky takes the stand to defend his representation

UPDATE 03:14:

Hearing in recess until 10 a.m. Wednesday

UPDATE 02:24:

Joel Brodsky is called to the stand. He initially refuses to enter the courtroom and states that he won’t voluntarily testify. Judge Burmila orders him to the stand and says as a subpoenaed witness he has no choice.
Under Greenbergs’s questioning about his financial arrangement with Glenn Selig’s PR Agency, Brodsky appears very nervous. He is slumped, rolling his eyes. Short delay while the prosecution reads the financial records. Brodsky back on the stand, confirms he and Drew Peterson opened a web site that earned 11 cents toward Peterson’s defense fund. Brodsky testifies to a total payment of $10,000 from ABC television for photos and video. Screaming Flea Productions (Bio channel) also paid $15,000 for licensing rights to video, film and still photos. Brodsky says that publisher, Derek Armstrong, paid $5901.18 to write a book with Drew Peterson in March 2008.

Reem Odeh posing with Derek Armstrong's book about the Peterson case

Reem Odeh posing with Derek Armstrong’s book about the Peterson case

UPDATE 02:24:

Peterson lawyers want to call retired Cook County Judge Daniel Locallo to the stand, but he is not at the courthouse. State objects to plan to call Locallo, saying Burmila wouldn’t need another judge’s opinion to make a ruling.

UPDATE 01:40:

Under cross-examination, Scott-Rudnick says he isn’t sure if Brodsky’s publicity agreement crossed the line.
Trial observer, Jennifer Spohn, is called to the stand. Spohn is questioned about a courtroom hallway conversation between Brodsky and Greenberg. She says she heard Greenberg tell Brodsky not to put Savio divorce attorney, Harry Smith, on the stand. She says that Brodsky said, “I’m doing it.” Now reports that Joel Brodsky is in the press overflow room asking what Spohn just testified to.

UPDATE 01:00:

Meanwhile someone who appears to be Joel Brodsky’s wife, Elizabeth, goes to Brodsky’s defense in the comments thread at the WGN trial page to say that Reem Odeh is:

…lying through her teeth. She attacked joel, there was a witness who was present at this time. Joel couldn’t do enough to facilitate her departure. He even moved her stuff out because she was causing such a scene in front of clients that joel couldn’t take her being in that office alone one more day. He was afraid she would steel files and cause damage to records which she threatened to do. This was only when she found out that joel signed a 10 year lease at the existing location after she spend a month prior shopping for offices to move to and was in now way interested in paying the rent which was unaffordable to her based on her type of clients (low income immigration). she didn’t handle anything else other than filling forms and appearing on immigration cases. even the more difficult ones she would refer out cause she couldn’t handle them. she has no knowledge of law. Had to be schooled on how to write a motion or any other similar type of documents on behalf of her clients going thru divorce which she started to accept only if it was a straight divorce no kids and uncontested. couldn’t even do those right.

UPDATE 12:14:

Lunch break until 1:15.

UPDATE 12:02:

Objection by the State is overruled and defense continues to detail alleged ethics violations by Joel Brodsky.

UPDATE 11:45:

Judge Burmila announces a break in proceedings so that Judge Michael Powers can hear Joel Brodsky’s motion to withdraw from the representing Drew Peterson in the Savio family’s civil case against him. Judge Powers granted Brodsky’s motion to withdraw from the civil suit. Attorney John Heiderscheidt will replace Brodsky.

UPDATE 11:37:

Drew Peterson is in court this morning in a prison jumpsuit instead of the suit he sported at the murder trial. He has shaved his beard.

Joel Brodsky’s former law partner, Reem Odeh, told the court that Joel Brodsky threatened her as she entered the court-house this morning and then testified about conversations with Joel Brodsky about opportunities to make money from the publicity of the case as well as to an incident during which Joel Brodsky attacked her when she tried to leave their offices with a copy of the PR contract.

Law professor Clifford Scott-Rudnick from the John MarshallL Law School was also called to testify. Scott-Rudnick says that Brodsky’s publicity contract appears to be “over the line” of attorney ethics.


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