Drew Peterson jury members speak out about deliberations and verdict

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Drew Peterson Guilty of Murder: One juror held out until today

Today the jury in the Drew Peterson trial  for the murder of Kathleen Savio returned a verdict of guilty. They took three votes during their deliberations. The first was 7 :guilty, 4: not guilty, 1: undecided. By last night the vote was 11: guilty and 1: undecided.

By the end of deliberations last night, one juror was not convinced, but today he went back into the courthouse and asked the other 11 to convince him. They did.

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Drew Peterson Guilty of Murder in the First Degree

Today the jury in the Drew Peterson trial deliberated for 13 hours and 52 minutes, sent a note to Judge Burmila asking him to confirm exactly what “unanimous” meant, and then returned a verdict of guilty in the trial of Drew Peterson for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

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Did Drew Peterson murder Kathleen Savio? Jury deliberations begin.

“If you find from your consideration of all the evidence that each one of these propositions has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant guilty. If you find that any one of these propositions has not been proved beyond a reasonable doubt, you should find the defendant not guilty.”

The jury has begun deliberations in the Drew Peterson murder trial.

What do you think the outcome will be?

Deliberations began at 9:37 am CST. Retired Judge White predicts 6 hours and 38 minutes of deliberations. How long do you think they will take?

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Mock trial video: People v. Drew Peterson

The long-awaited trial of Drew Peterson starts tomorrow with opening arguments scheduled to start at 9:30. Unfortunately, the proceedings will not be televised as Will County still does not allow cameras in their criminal courtrooms.

However, back in May of 2009, while Drew Peterson was just beginning what was to be a three-year detainment in a Joliet jail, the cameras were rolling when the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and WGN Radio’s Legally Speaking presented a mock trial which consisted of closing arguments as they could be presented during Peterson’s actual trial for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Attorney and co-host of Legally Speaking, Attorney Karen Conti presented arguments for the prosecution; while Attorney Joseph Lopez argued for the defense of Peterson. A year later Lopez would join the defense team, but at this time he was not officially representing Drew Peterson.

Quite a bit of time has passed since this mock trial, which ended in a hung jury. We now know that there will be very little mention of Stacy Peterson, and that a fair amount of the hearsay has already been barred from the trial. Nevertheless, it’s fascinating to hear the arguments much as they could very well be presented during the actual trial and to peek into the deliberations of the jury as they weigh the evidence about a possible murder versus the original ruling of a slip and fall that ended in the drowning of Kathleen Savio.

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Drew Peterson murder trial: Jury selection day 2

UPDATE 03:48 p.m. CST:

Jury selection is complete: seven men and five women with four alternates (three male, one female).

UPDATE 03:02 p.m. CST:

Potential juror says she couldn’t send anyone to prison because she works at one and knows what happens there.

UPDATE 02:55 p.m. CST:

Back in court. Alternates are being chosen.

UPDATE 12:55 p.m.CST:

Lunch break. One alternate has been added so far. Looks as if everyone will be able to go home at a decent hour today.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m. CST:

Second group of jurors has now entered the courtroom. Peterson greets them and thanks them for their time.

UPDATE 12:00 noon CST:

Twelve jurors picked (7 men and 5 women). Still need to choose four alternates.

UPDATE 11:39 a.m. CST:

A juror from yesterday is upset about missing a family vacation. Judge offers each side one more challenge if they agree to release this juror.

UPDATE 11:15 a.m. CST:

Court goers describe Peterson as looking tidy, clean-shaven, older.

UPDATE 10:45 a.m. CST:

Five juror candidates left over from yesterday have been questioned so far. During break defense tweets that selection is proceeding at a rapid pace.

UPDATE 09:00 a.m. CST:

Court is delayed by a half hour while lawyers obtain new clothing for Peterson. His existing civilian clothes are now too small. Assembled candidates described as less rowdy as yesterday.

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Yesterday, after 12 hours of questioning and deliberations, eight jurors were seated for Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio.

Fifty-eight potential jurors are due to report this morning for another round of jury selection.

As always, we’ll have our eyes and ears open and will be posting updates. Check back throughout the day for the latest news and don’t forget to check the comment thread.

Remember, CNN/In Session’s Ted Rowlands will be talking to our own Rescueapet today at 12:15 CST about the blog, the case, etc. Check your local listings for the channel.

We’re following:
Jon Seidel
Joseph Hosey
Craig Wall
In Session

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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