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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Drew Peterson trial – day twenty. State calls Dr. Michael Baden as rebuttal witness

UPDATE 02:33:

State now addressing possible impeachment statements made yesterday by Savio’s son Tom Peterson. Judge: “Are you impeaching his memory?”
Prosecutors will call no more rebuttal witnesses.
Judge: Closings for Tuesday?
The judge sends for the jury.
The jurors return to the courtroom. Prosecutor Glasgow: “Judge, we have no further witnesses. Respectfully, the People would rest.
Closing arguments will be Tuesday.
The jurors have now left the courtroom. Judge Burmila is engaged with the attorneys in a sidebar.
Judge Burmila has left the bench. The jury has been sent home, but the attorneys remain. The trial is in a recess.
The judge has returned to the courtroom. The trial is in recess until Friday morning at 10:15 CT/11:15 ET. At that time, the judge and the attorneys will hold a charge conference in open court.

UPDATE 01:37:

Trial back in session after lunch recess. Court business before jurors return.
Goldberg motioning to keep state pathology expert Mary Case off stand.
Judge allows pathology expert Dr. Case to testify on rebuttal
State calls Dr. Mary Case to the stand. SA Glasgow to examine.
Dr. Case will probably rebut defense expert assertion that she primarily deals with shaken children’s brains.
Dr. Case says that defense expert represented her testimony as being that every loss of consciousness results in injury to the brain, which is not true.
Dr. Mary Case says people don’t sustain Savio’s kind of injuries in bathtub fall.
Dr. Case answers a few questions about diffuse axonal injuries. Glasgow concludes his testimony of the witness.
Atty Goldberg now crossing Dr. Case.
Dr. Case charges the state $350 per hour. Already charged more than $8,000 thru 2011. That’s a govt discount. Usually charges $650/hour.
Dr. Case testified that in order for s/o to sustain a brain injury it would require a fall from more than 15 ft not the 49 inches in the tub.
The witness repeats that she disagrees with Dr. Jentzen’s opinion. “And you know that he vehemently disagrees with your opinion?” “I understand that. We obviously disagree with one another.” The cross-examination of Dr. Case is now concluded.
Under re-direct by SA Glasgow once again, Dr. Case says that it takes roughly two hours to microscopically view signs of axonal injury. She saw no sign of that in this case.
Goldberg on re-cross. The witness says there may be “markers” of DAI on the brain. “I did not ever tell this jury that there would be large collections of blood.” “In all the publications you’ve written, you have not written one word about these kinds of markers?” “Every paper I’ve ever written about DAI talks about thin smears [of blood] . . . I’m not quite sure how else to say it.”
Dr. Case steps down.

UPDATE 11:45:

Brief recess.
Atty Meczyk ends cross by asking Baden if he was a paid expert for OJ Simpson and accused Chicago torture cop John Burge. He was.
Court in lunch recess until 1:15 p.m. CDT.

UPDATE 11:05:

Defense attorney Meczyk begins cross-examination: “You know I have to ask you some questions. Is that all right with you?”
Meczyk quizzes Dr. Baden about the blood on Savio’s diaphragm and how the other pathologists did not note it in their autopsy reports. He asks if the blood could have been transferred from the organs when diaphragm was placed in a viscera bag. Dr. Baden thinks that would not be likely. Believes that he paid more attention to the diaphragm than the other pathologists did.
Baden agrees he’d expect to see external injuries in area around Savio’s diaphragm. Miraculously, Meczyk says, there are none. “I agree with everything you say, Sir, except for the ‘miraculously.’”
Prosecution objects to Baden questioning — “I don’t understand how this is impeachment.” Meczyk: “I’ll make counsel understand.”
Baden says that the autopsy he performed [on Savio] “had nothing to do with” his consulting job on FOX news.

Steph Watts

Meczyk asks about Baden’s assistant at autopsy, Steph Watts. Baden says family asked that a producer for Fox News be present.
Baden says he had a contract with Fox to educate people about forensic pathology but did the autopsy pro bono.
Baden tells jury autopsy was videotaped. He is unaware of defense claim FOX assistant tried to sell tape to makers of Girls Gone Wild videos.
Greenberg: “It’s a series of interviews on spring break locations . . . they get very drunk women to do embarrassing things.
Greenberg goes on — Fox producer said call was unrelated to Savio autopsy, but admits Girls Gone Wild owner’s number was on his notes.
Judge says he will admonish jury to ignore defense question about “Girls Gone Wild.”

UPDATE 10:30:

Defense didn’t like phrase “could have been.” Prosecution to follow-up and ask Baden if he believes Savio’s wounds ARE defensive injuries.
Brief recess
Dr.Baden’s autopsy report on Kathleen Savio.
Baden says Savio’s injuries could have been defensive or non-defensive. “People sometimes scratch themselves.”
Dr. Baden: “In my experience, and in my opinion you can’t get all of those injuries from a single fall.”
Once again, Dr. Baden says the pattern of hemorrhage in the diaphragm area is indicative of injury. That concludes the direct examination of this witness.

UPDATE 09:37:

Judge on the bench. Some court business before jurors brought in.
Jury all wearing suits today. “Sartorial splendor,” the judge declares.

Pathologist, Michael Baden

Prosecutors call forensic pathologist Michael Baden as their first rebuttal witness.
Defense tries to stipulate Baden is “uncategorically qualified” as an expert. State wants to go thru his resume anyway.
State going through Baden’s extensive background.
Dr. Baden is testifying as an expert witness with no objection from the defense.
Baden said he was not paid to do autopsy in 2007. He was paid $5,000 by Glasgow’s office to attend a hearing two years later.
Baden says he disagrees with opinions reached by doctors Jentzen and DiMaio.
Baden says Savio’s injuries were consistent with a struggle. “I disagree with that opinion..the injury my opinion could not be caused by a fall.”
Baden disagrees with defense expert who said Savio had a blood pressure condition that made her dizzy. “Interesting speculation,” he says.
Baden disputes defense experts’ claim that mark on Savio’s buttock was a “drying artifact.” “That’s an abrasion… and is not a post-mortem artifact.” he says.
Baden says the pattern of injuries to Savio’s left side had to be from a ‘series of falls’ not just one.
Baden said he disagrees with another opinion that Savio’s hair would have wiped away blood. It would have left distinct pattern, he says.
Dr Baden said injury to Savio’s diaphragm could have been caused “by a very strong bear hug” said her other injuries consistent with struggle.
(Baden’s testimony frequently interrupted by objections/sidebars)
Baden tells jury that injuries on Savio’s hands and wrists “could have been sustained while she was trying to defend herself.”

UPDATE 09:00:

State’s rebuttal witnesses we can expect today include Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Mary Case.
At this point prosecution is not planning to call Dr. Blum; although, he’s in the next courtroom testifying in the Vaughn case.

Yesterday the defense called Kathleen Savio’s divorce attorney, Harry Smith and eldest son, Tom Peterson to the stand and the defense rested their case. Today we expect to hear from two rebuttal witnesses for the prosecution.

We’re following:
Jon Seidel
Stacy St. Clair
In Session
Glenn Marshall
Diane Pathieu
Kara Oko
Dan Rozek
Diane Pathieu

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