Court is back in session.
Judge Burmila is back on the bench. He says that the fact that Drew and Stacy’s Nextel phones had a “chirping” feature might be relevant. “My concern, however, is that Mr. Mims may not be the right person to introduce this to the jury . . . if you want to call someone from Nextel, or if the parties want to stipulate, I think that’s all appropriate, and it will be admissible.” Connor: “We would have to produce that witness tomorrow. As far as our witnesses for today, given your rulings, we are at an end of our witnesses.”
The sidebar ends. Judge Burmila announces that he will release the jurors for the day. He wants to have a conference with the attorneys, but that will apparently take place in chambers.
Atty Lopez says that the delay is because both sides are hammering out stipulations so prosecutors can rest tomorrow.
Court is now in session.
Defense tries to stop a prosecution investigator from testifying about receipts he found in Drew’s home in 2007.
Brodsky says the state can’t provide evidence of a “false” alibi if defendant hasn’t presented an alibi defense.
Glasgow also says it would back Pachter’s testimony that Drew wanted an ironclad alibi for day of Savio’s death.
Receipts include receipts from Krispy Kreme and the Shedd Aquarium. The receipts were in the only red folder in the drawer.
Prosecutor Connor: “It did not appear from the other items in this file cabinet that he was a compulsive record keeper.”
Burmila says receipts from a Krispy Kreme & Shedd Aquarium are admissible. Receipts were for cash, not credit, and kept in a red folder.
Defense still fighting receipt decision. Glasgow getting animated.
Burmila scolded Glasgow for tone, volume of his voice while stating his case. Glasgow apologized profusely. “It will not happen again.”
Glasgow says Drew Peterson staged scene – complete with OJ on kitchen counter – to make it look like Savio died in morning so kept receipts.
Judge reverses himself, won’t let investigator describe receipts found in Drew’s home that give him alibi for day before Savio.
Court in recess while State decides who to call next. No receipts – no Dave Margliano.
Attorney Harry Smith is expected to be the next prosecution witness.
“You told the jury that Stacy told you she lived with a murderer?” “Those were not her words, but yes.” “So it was your understanding that Stacy lived with someone who committed a murder?” “Right.” “Of a wife?” “Right.” “And you let her go right back there?” “I didn’t stop her.” “Because you didn’t believe her!” “Not true.”
Lopez finishes on cross. Glasgow begins re-direct
Schori says he did not initially report what Stacy told him because she wanted him to keep it between them.
Schori says he was aware that DP was a police officer. Schori says Stacy asked him not to share the information she gave him with anyone. He complied with her request to maintain “integrity.”
Schori says there was a witness 8-10 ft away during initial mtg w/ Stacy – Marco Macola. Schori said witness sat 8 to 10 feet away and didn’t hear discussion.
Arguments over Schori testifying about coming forward with Stacy’s story in October 2007, the month Stacy disappeared.
Judge: “I think the fact that he told the sergeant in October is appropriate, and it’s admissible.”
Lopez then begins his recross. “You mentioned you needed to bring somebody with you, based on the phone call you received the day before?” “That’s correct.” “You knew she was going to seduce you?” “That’s not correct.”
“When Mr. Glasgow was asking you about you not telling anybody, do you remember that?” “I do.” “Did you appear on a radio show…” Objection/Sustained. That ends the testimony of Rev. Schori, and he is excused from the stand. The judge excuses the jurors for the lunch recess.
State ends questioning Schori. Lopez begins cross.
Lopez: “Are you telling us that you engage in marriage counseling with people in public places? Schori: “Absolutely.”
Lopez: You thought it would be better to embarrass your people by having them cry in public.
Schori says he didn’t take notes during SP meeting. “I never take notes.”
Upon questioning, Schori says he didn’t follow-up with Stacy or confirm details with Drew Peterson after initial meeting.
Schori also says he didn’t send any anonymous letters to authorities, news organizations with info SP gave him.
“You didn’t tell anybody about it?” “That’s correct.” “In fact, you were sitting on a grand jury?” “That’s correct.” “Did you speak to somebody in August?” “No.” “September?” “No.” “You didn’t speak to anybody until October?” “That is correct.”
“She also told you that Drew told her that he killed his own men when he was in the Army?” “That is correct.”
Coughing juror is causing a disruption. Jury leaves room.
The prosecution calls Neil Schori to the stand.
Schori says he met Drew and Stacy Peterson at the end of 2005 or beginning of 2006 at Westbrook Christian Church in Bolingbrook.
Schori says his job was to get newcomers acclimated to the church, when he met Stacy and Drew Peterson.
Schori said he received phone call rom Stacy Peterson in Aug. 2007. He met her at a Starbucks the morning after that call.
Schori provided all counseling sessions a public coffee shops because he did not want any suggestions of impropriety with congregants.
Schori: “Stacy appeared to be nervous, tentative, she was sitting alone…I approached and greeted her.”
Schori said SP “silently cried,” indicated she had something to tell him.
Schori says SP told him that one night she and DP went to sleep at the same time. She later awoke and DP wasn’t there.
Schori: SP later saw Drew downstairs, wearing black. He was carrying bag. He put contents of bag into washing machine.
Schori: When DP walked away, Stacy looked inside washer and saw woman’s clothes that weren’t hers.
Schori: SP said DP later told her that police would want to interview her. DP told her what to say.
Schori says Stacy claimed Drew Peterson coached her for hours on what to say to police. A tearful Stacy said she lied to police, he said.
Schori: “She continued to cry. She was very scared,” in retelling tale.
Judge says state mislead him about Schori testimony after reviewing transcripts. State still disagrees.
Statement “it’s a perfect crime,” which DP allegedly said to SP, according to Schori, is inadmissible. Prosecution asking judge to reconsider.
Judge: “So with that as our starting point, where are we with the request that I evaluate Rev. Schori’s testimony.”
Prosecutor Griffin: “This was referred to over and over again before Judge White and Your Honor as ‘the lie request’.”
Judge: “Where are we at, then? I’ve made a ruling that he cannot say she said this was going to be the perfect crime.
Judge: “You’re asking me to admit a statement she made to Rev. Schori that she fulfilled the defendant’s wish?”
Griffin: “Yes, without getting into the actual statement that she made to the police.
Judge doesn’t change his prior ruling – statements that Drew Peterson made, with Stacy’s alibi it’d be “the perfect crime” not admissible
The judge will allow state to present that Drew Peterson advised Stacy to lie to police for him, and that she did.
They continue to argue.
Judge Burmila: “The State’s argument is that statement was barred by Judge White as privileged, and that explains the link you now say doesn’t exist . . . the Court’s observations you read from the transcript were in advance of the trial. The issue here is whether or not there’s any testimony presented to this jury that could allow for the inference the State is trying to make . . . but there is some indication that the jury could believe this act happened sometime between midnight Saturday and the time that she was found . . . taking all of that into account, the jury would be able to draw the inferences that the clothing the defendant had with him, if they believe Stacy Peterson’s hearsay statement, could have come from the victim’s home. So that [defense] objection will be overruled.”
SA Glasgow asks for a few minutes to talk to Neil Schori. Court is in recess.
Attorneys in courtroom. Just waiting on the Judge.
Rumor is jurors will be wearing gray today.
Court is in session. Jury coming in.
Pastor Neil Schori expected to take the stand first today for prosecution.
Attorney Brodsky notes that there are issues of marital and clerical privilege at play with Schori.
Glasgow wants Schori to testify, but parts of his story are not admissible.
Judge: “I don’t think we addressed the issue of ‘no one will ever know’ [which Drew allegedly told Stacy].”
Glasgow claims that “my hands are tied,” based on the judge’s prior rulings. “We have a right to have this witness tell the gist of what he was told . . . the words ‘perfect crime’ were used . . . he [the defendant] coached her for hours.”
Judge: “We’ve revisited this on a number of occasions . . . the issue is what is legally admissible, not what makes the State’s case better, or what makes the witness more believable . . . I was told that the testimony was going to be that she was told to lie. ‘This will be the perfect crime’ is covered by marital privilege. I didn’t make up marital privilege . . . now you’re telling me that’s not really what the statement was. I guess we have to backtrack: did Rev. Schori say that Stacy Peterson told him that she was told to lie to the police?”
Judge left bench, demanding transcript of pre-trial hearing so he can see exactly what prosecution told him.
Court in recess.
BTW: Jeff Ruby mouthed “F— Y–” to Drew Peterson in court. sheriff: “There was direct eye contact made.” Ruby was escorted out of the building and is barred from the trial.
Glasgow: “Judge “we are walking on egg shells”. State is to the point where based on prior missteps they are navigating a mistrial minefield.
The parties are heading back into the courtroom. We should be resuming shortly.
Drew Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio continues today. Yesterday the prosecution managed to put four witnesses on the stand: Jeffrey Pachter, Bryan Falat, Dr. Vinod Motiani, and Nick Pontarelli.
As always, I’ll have my 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 comments thread.
Stacy St. Clair
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