Drew Peterson takes murder conviction appeal to Illinois Supreme Court. Murder-for-hire trial set for next month.

Drew Peterson's new mug shots for 2016

Drew Peterson’s new mug shots for 2016

UPDATE 1/27/16: Despite having denied a motion to delay the beginning of the trial just last week, after a conference call between Judge Brown and attorneys Walker and Liefer, the judge agreed to continue Drew Peterson’s upcoming murder-for-hire trial in order to give both sides more time to prepare. The trial was originally set to begin the end of next month. The new trial date is May 6.


Two months after his appeal was denied by the Illinois appellate court, Drew Peterson’s attorneys have taken his case to the state Supreme Court in hopes of overturning his 2012 conviction for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Case No. 120331

People v. Peterson, Defense leave to appeal granted 3/30/16 from 2015 IL App (3d) 130157

Whether the Appellate Court erred by finding that a decision in a prior appeal precluded it from considering whether evidence was properly admitted under the forfeiture by wrongdoing doctrine, where the prior appeal concerned only a different aspect of the doctrine – the possible application of a new statute. (§2-6(a))

Defense counsel: Stephen Greenberg, Chicago

Penned by attorneys Steve Greenberg and Harold Krent, the petition to appeal covers familiar ground, alleging that the admission of hearsay and “former bad acts” evidence to his the trial should not have taken place and resulted in the erroneous conviction of Drew Peterson.

The Illinois Appellate Court is also called out for having not seriously considered all of the arguments raised in the earlier appeal.

The appeal also, once again points the finger at Peterson’s former counsel and friend, Joel Brodsky, who they insist created a conflict of interest when he wrote a contract with Peterson that gave him a percentage of any money earned by media appearances. They also maintain that he erred when calling lawyer Harry Smith to the stand to testify that Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, had asked him if she could get more money from a divorce arrangement if she threatened to tell how he had killed Kathleen Savio.

Interestingly, last week, a former client of Steve Greenberg’s, Albert Domagala, had his sentence overturned and was granted a new trial after a judge agreed that he had been granted ineffective assistance by Greenberg at his 2005 murder trial.

Joel Brodsky, naturally, took to Facebook and called it a case of “the pot calling the kettle black”.


In Peterson’s case, the filing does not ensure that the Supreme Court will hear the new appeal. The Chicago Tribune points out that the higher court “typically hears a small percentage of such petitions. For example, justices agreed to hear arguments in less than 5 percent of the nearly 1,500 petitions filed in fiscal 2014.”

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, Randolph County Circuit Court Judge Richard A. Brown denied Peterson’s request to delay his trial in the solicitation of murder case.

Peterson’s attorney, Lucas Liefer told the judge that the defense and prosecution were still exchanging discovery in the case, “I don’t think we need a lot of time, but I don’t think it is realistic to say we will be ready to go to trial in a month,” he said.

Judge Brown replied that the calendar for March was already full, telling Leifer, “if you have to move cases aside to get ready for this, then do so.”

At least forty-six witnesses have been subpoenaed in the case, including experts in finger-print and audio recording evidence.

Jury selection for the trial will take place on February 26 and his trial will begin on February 29th in Chester, Illinois where he is incarcerated.

Drew’s prison correspondence continues to be of interest. Joel Brodsky took to Twitter to share his taunting of his former client via the postal service.


A man (with his own notorious past) who claims to be distantly related to Staacy Peterson, also wrote to Peterson in prison, and claims to have received an acerbic reply.


Stacy’s sister, Cassandra Cales, continues to search for her sister and to consult those claiming to be psychics for help in locating Stacy Peterson’s remains.

Most recently Stacy’s family has turned to a woman named Sharon Pugh, who calls herself the “Southern Style Medium”. Hugh was provided with items belonging to to Drew and Stacy Peterson, and by holding the items she says that Stacy joined them and told her that she had been wearing a heart shaped necklace when she died, which was removed before the disposal of her body. She hopes to have more sessions with the family.

Drew Peterson's watches

Drew Peterson’s watches

Stacy Peterson's cap

Stacy Peterson’s cap

Today is Stacy Peterson’s birthday. She would have been 32.


Her youngest child turned 11 this month and celebrated with a trip to an indoor rock climbing facility and a lobster dinner.
Stacy with the children: Kris, Lacy, Anthony and Tom

Stacy with the children: Kris, Lacy, Anthony and Tom

Video: Drew Peterson murder conviction appeal oral arguments

Part 1: Argument for the appeal by attorney Steven Greenberg

Part 2: Argument for the appeal by attorney Harold Krent

Part 3: Argument against the appeal by assistant state’s attorney Marie Czech (1)

Part 4: Argument against the appeal by assistant state’s attorney Marie Czech (2)

Part 5: Rebuttal by attorney Steven Greenberg

Last week Drew Peterson attorneys Steve Greenberg and Harold Krent presented arguments to three Illinois appellate justices in hopes of overturning Peterson’s 2012 conviction for the murder of Kathleen Savio.

The appeal centered around a number of points – namely the admittance of hearsay statements under the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception, the question of counselor-client and lawyer-client privilege and allegations of conflict and ineffective counsel on the part of Joel Brodsky.

Last week also saw a change in date for Peterson’s murder-for-hire trial. Originally he had asked for a speedy trial and the date was set for July, but his attorney, Lucas Liefer, decided that they could not be ready by then. The trial is now set for August 28th.

Attorney Steven Greenberg who unsuccessfully defended Peterson against murder charges at trial in 2012, and is now one of his appellate lawyers, was interviewed about the oral arguments as well as Drew’s more recent murder case

Attorney Joel Brodsky, who is named in Peterson’s appeal as providing ineffective assistance and having a per se conflict of interest, replied to the charges via “The Publicity Agency”. The PR firm is run by Glenn Selig who is also named in Peterson’s appeal.

“I was amazed and shocked at the flagrant lies told, and the blatant hypocrisy demonstrated by Attorney Steve Greenberg during oral arguments before the Illinois Appellate Court on Drew Peterson’s appeal of his murder conviction. As to the accusations about my seeking publicity during the Peterson case, Steve Greenberg’s hypocrisy is beyond all bounds. The provable truth is that Attorney Steve Greenberg begged me to let him come onto the Peterson case to work for free and he wanted to do so for the publicity. He certainly did not want to work for free out of the goodness of his heart. Further, for Greenberg to complain about me seeking publicity from the Peterson case is the height of dishonesty when the provable fact is that I had to stop him from appearing on a truTV segment called “Karas v. Greenberg”, which he attempted to do during the trial! Rather than preparing for the days hearing or appearing in the courtroom during the trial, Greenberg was on truTV giving away the defense’s strategy while seeking publicity for himself. During the trial, he even used his daughter to set up his own personal media interviews. It is the height of hypocrisy for Attorney Greenberg to accuse me of wanting publicity.

Furthermore, Attorney Steve Greenberg told blatant lies during the oral argument. He stated that Drew Peterson’s media interviews were played during the trial and were used as evidence against him. Perhaps Greenberg was too busy doing the “Karas v. Greenberg” TV bits during the trial to remember, but not one video of Drew giving a media interview was ever played at trial. Not one. The only thing related to Mr. Peterson’s interviews that was used as evidence was a written transcript of three (3) questions that Drew was asked during interviews. The questions were as follows: (1) what happened to Kathy” (Drew said “I don’t know”), (2) Were you surprised that Kathy’s body was exhumed (Drew said “yes”), and (3) Were you separated at the time? (Drew said ‘yes”). Hardly evidence against Drew. This shows that Attorney Steve Greenberg lacks any credibility and engaged in gross misrepresentations and hypocrisy during his oral argument to the appellate court.”

Oral arguments presented today in appeal of Drew Peterson’s murder conviction

Drew Peterson attorneys Steve Greenberg and Harold Krent presented arguments today to three Illinois appellate justices in hopes of overturning Peterson’s 2012 conviction for the murder of Kathleen Savio.

The appeal centered around a number of points – namely the admittance of hearsay statements, the question of counselor-client privilege and allegations of ineffective counsel on the part of Joel Brodsky.

The Chicago Tribune reported that,

A three-member panel of the 3rd District Appellate Court frequently interrupted the attorneys with questions about why the rest of Peterson’s legal team did not intervene if they disagreed with Brodsky’s actions and trial strategy.

They also appeared skeptical of claims that Peterson’s rights were violated when Burmila allowed Savio’s divorce attorney, Harry Smith, to testify that Stacy Peterson had called to ask what would happen if she did not reveal her husband’s role in Savio’s death.

Greenberg and Krent argued that Smith should never have been allowed to testify, because it violated attorney-client privilege.

But Justice Daniel Schmidt appeared skeptical.

“Is the privilege designed to protect the client or the person that killed the client?” Schmidt asked. “My guess is if I’m dead, I’m not going to mind if my attorney testifies about the guy that killed me.”


Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Marie Czech argued that the media rights agreement had expired before Peterson’s 2012 trial, and said Brodsky had nothing to gain by calling a witness that could sink his client’s case.

“There is absolutely no benefit to Mr. Brodsky for losing this case,” Czech said. “Winning this case brings new clients, brings fame. Losing the case, as we’ve seen with Mr. Brodsky, brings a loss of clients, ignominy.”

She also reminded the panel that Smith was called by the defense, not the prosecution.

After the nearly hourlong argument, Justice Mary K. O’Brien said the court would take the matter under advisement and would later issue a written decision. She did not say when that decision would be released.

Pastor Neil Schori attended today’s proceedings, commenting afterward about the allegation that his testimony violated Stacy Peterson’s right to privacy he said, “The defense continues to try to make this an issue. That Stacy wanted me to be quiet makes no sense.”

Drew Peterson fires attorney Steven Greenberg from his defense team

Steven A. Greenberg

According to a tweet from the Chicago Tribune’s Stacy St. Clair, Drew Peterson has fired Attorney Steven Greenberg.

Greenberg, an experienced criminal defense attorney, handled most of the motions in Peterson’s trial for murder and was widely thought to be the most effective attorney on his defense team.

During the last days of Peterson’s trial, Greenberg was overheard in a courtroom hallway warning Attorney Joel Brodsky not to call Kathleen Savio’s divorce attorney, Harry Smith, to the witness stand — advice that fell on deaf ears. The testimony of Smith, which placed Drew Peterson at the scene of Savio’s death, was cited by jurors as being the key piece of evidence that made them decide to convict Peterson.

Since the guilty verdict was handed down on Thursday there have been indications in the media that all was not good between Joel Brodsky and Steven Greenberg. Courtroom observers had also commented on the dynamic between the two attorneys. one described a scene in which Drew was sandwiched between the two sparring members of his team, a hand on the shoulder of each, in an attempt to intervene during an argument.

A few weeks into the trial Joel Brodsky’s wife, Elizabeth, had criticized Attorney Greenberg via Twitter writing, “Greenberg should pay more attention to the case and less to the media maybe he wouldn’t make so many mistakes.”

After the guilty verdict and the subsequent write-ups in the media, she accused Greenberg via Twitter of having thrown people “under the bus”:

@inhiheels has identified herself in past tweets as “Ellie Brodsky”.

Which makes one wonder, was it truly Drew Peterson who was unhappy with Greenberg’s defense?

Visit the comment thread for some great quotes from Steve Greenberg. As of 9:30 CST Joel Brodsky posted a status update on his Facebook page:

Joel A. Brodsky, Attorney at Law
11 minutes ago


Steve Greenberg was given a job to for the defense team, which was to bring motions and make objections, as well as cross examine a few witnesses. He failed to bring the most important motions, such as to bar the 2004 “botched investigation” evidence, saying he would object when the state tried to get the evidence in. Then he failed to object when the State started with this evidence, potentially causing the loss of several important appellate issues. He also missed several other important objections which are required to preserve issues to appeal. It was then that Mr. Greenberg was relieved from the job of making objections. Further, even though Mr. Greenberg he did win many of the motions, these were on small issues. Greenberg lost the big ones, such as barring the hearsay previously found to be unreliable, and keeping the “hit man” testimony out. During the trial he was frequently absent from the defense table because he was hanging out in the press room, or by the TruTv television tent. He also failed to attend almost all after court team meetings, and was unprepared for his cross-examination of the few witnesses he had, fumbling for papers while the witnesses were on the stand. Mr. Greenberg was let go because of his failure to accomplish most of the tasks he was brought on board to take care of.

Also, for the record, Greenberg did not object to Harry Smith being called as a witness by the Defense, and in fact was in favor of him being called as late at the day before Smith was called. Further, Smith was never barred from testifying, nor was his testimony reduced in scope by a motion that Mr. Greenberg made and any statements to that effect are false. Finally, Greenberg never argued with me not to call Smith, and his statement to that effect is not true. Greenberg didn’t change his story on the Harry Smith issue until after Smith testified and he felt that the testimony may have hurt Drew’s case, and only then did he vocally (to others but not to the defense team members), start saying that it was a mistake. It is nothing more than a blatant attempt to distance himself from the conviction that was not really anyone’s fault, as the jurors public comments show that they were going to convict Drew Peterson no matter how lacking the evidence was.”

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Interview with State’s Attorney, James Glasgow, on Drew Peterson trial

During Drew Peterson’s trial for murder his defense team never seemed to turn down a chance to be heard and seen in the media, but the prosecution was keeping a low profile. Finally, lead prosecutor, James Glasgow, can speak out about the case, the hearsay, the trial, the defense team, and Drew Peterson; and boy does he have his say! You need to listen to this interview he did yesterday on WLS’s Roe and Roeper show.

[Partial transcript]

ROE: I think there’s been a lot of misunderstanding in the last couple of days. You explained it, I think, very well in your press conference yesterday and we’ve had a lot of people calling in with concerns about that so let’s jump into that for a second. The hearsay law is not as simple as “well now anyone can just say anything about anybody and go to court and get a conviction on somebody that they don’t like because they heard some conversation” right?

GLASGOW: Correct. There’s a very–first of all you have to prove by a preponderance of–if I have preponderance of evidence that you willfully diverted the witness, under the law that I had written, that diversion had to be murder, so I mean it was the ultimate diversion and…

ROE: Hold on. Let me back up a little. Let’s take that out of legalese. So what, basically the law that you guys drafted–and there are some other laws around the country that are similar to this–but the law that you drafted specifically said that if you kill somebody to silence them because they were going to testify against you for another crime, that hearsay evidence surrounding that individual who is now dead can be entered into court, but before you do that a judge has to sign off on this. A judge has to sign off, based on the preponderance of evidence, in kind of a mini-trial in advance.

GLASGOW: Yes. And these statements have to be relevant and probative to the issue at hand. They’re not just any statement, Roe. If someone is murdered in a bathroom and it’s made to look like an accident and they happen to have been told by the murderer, “I could kill you and make it look like an accident” that’s pretty relevant and pretty probative.

ROEPER: Jim, what about the criticism, and I agree, as Roe said, it’s been widely misunderstood and sometimes misreported but some of the defense attorneys were saying yesterday that it’s so specific that it was written for one case.

GLASGOW: Those guys don’t tell the truth about anything, now do they? In Giles v California, which was recently decided by the Supreme Court a couple of years ago–and I actually flew out and watched the argument–Antonin Scalia , who is a very conservative justice and who is a champion of cross-examination and confrontation, found that 400 years ago the concept of forfeiture by wrongdoing was in place in the common law. It was there when the drafters of the constitution wrote the constitution. That’s one of his tests to determine whether or not he’s going to go along with something in the common law. But anyway, the federal government, in 1997, enacted a law that was section 804(b) now adopted in Illinois, January first, 2011, which is basically forfeiture by wrongdoing and it’s “equitable forfeiture”. If you deliberately destroy evidence by getting this witness out of the way, you can’t come in, thumb your nose at the judge, laugh and say, “Ha,ha you can’t get me now!” That’s basically the concept.

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Drew Peterson jury members speak out about deliberations and verdict

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Does conviction clear way for Stacy Peterson charges?

Stacy Peterson, missing since 2007

Yesterday, after a lengthy legal battle and a three-year detainment, the jury in Drew Peterson’s trial for murder handed down the verdict of “guilty”.

After more than 13 hours of deliberations a hold out juror finally changed his mind. He said the deciding factor was the hearsay testimony of fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, that eventually convinced him that Peterson had killed his third wife Kathleen Savio.

It was the sudden disappearance of Stacy Peterson that re-ignited interest in the strange death of Savio, which had been deemed an accident after a botched investigation and a brief coroner’s inquest. Stacy went missing only days after telling several people that her husband had killed Kathleen, something that Savio’s friends and family had long believed to be true.

While an acquittal of the murder charges might have had dire consequences for any hope of charging Peterson with Stacy’s death–her body has never been found despite extensive organized and volunteer searches–a conviction can only strengthen the case against Peterson. After all, her voice was heard at trial because a judge was convinced to a sufficient degree that inability to testify in person was due to the fact that Drew Peterson had made her unavailable to testify. It was only his “forfeiture by wrongdoing” that allowed Stacy to essentially speak for the first time since the morning October 28, 2007, when she last told a friend over the phone that she was feeling too lazy to help out with some house painting and was going to stay in bed a bit longer.

Drew Peterson claims that he heard from her once more, when she called him that night to tell him she had “found someone” and was leaving him. Peterson’s stepbrother, Thomas Morphey, would tell a friend that he was the one holding Drew’s cell phone when that call came in, while he stood alone in a Bolingbrook Park that Drew had dropped him off at, after asking him if he loved him enough to kill for him.

No doubt we’ll be revisiting all the details of that night in the weeks ahead as the State’s Attorney’s office has said, “We are going to aggressively review that case with an eye towards potentially charging it”.

Yesterday we finally saw justice done for Kathleen Savio. Will Stacy Peterson have her day?

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