Drew Peterson Trial Update: Defense Withdraws Bid for Mistrial and Witness Testifies Kathleen Savio did not Want Husband Arrested
Aug 15, 2012 02:30 PM EDT
On the ninth day of Drew Peterson murder trial, before Judge Edward Burmila could rule on the possibility of a mistrial for former police officer Peterson who is being charged with murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, defense lawyer Joe Lopez told the court that they were withdrawing the petition for a mistrial.
"We are not giving the state a practice run...This is a real race and Mr. Peterson wants the world to know that he's not afraid. He wants to keep this jury in its place," Lopez said according to the Washington Post.
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Initially, defense claimed hearsay evidence and mistakes on part of prosecution enough to get Peterson a mistrial; however it looks like they opted for the contrary after all.
The trial continued as Judge dismissed defense request to render hearsay evidence inadmissible. On Wednesday, defense presented the 58-year-old former police-officer, who told the court that Savio did not want to file a complaint against Peterson in the incident where he allegedly threatened her with a knife.
Former Bolingbrook police Lt. Teresa Kernc, who told the court "we (Peterson and her) were never friends, but we were co-workers," that Savio "specifically that she did not want him to lose his job; she didn't want him to be arrested," as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
Kernc also testified that there were two battery charges filed against Savio and she feared that she would lose custody of her children.
The testimonies come after a three day recess, before which, Mary Parks, Savio's friend, testified "Kathy told me that her husband, Drew Peterson, said he could kill her, make her disappear," according to ABC News. She also recalled that Savio told her that her husband grabbed her by the neck and tried to choke her.
Savio's sister Susan Doman said that her sister told her that Peterson once held a knife up to Savio's neck. However, Doman also testified that when she confronted the alleged killer on murdering her sister, Peterson responded quite choked, 'I wouldn't kill the mother of my children," as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
During that week, Savio's other sister Anna Doman that her sister said she was receiving threats from former police officer Peterson.
The trial is in recess for the weekend and will resume for its third week from Tuesday. Judge Edward Burmila is not pleased with the speed of the trial; tell reporters it is moving at a "glacial pace," with mainly testimonies from character witnesses.
Could Peterson's lawyer, Joel Brodsky have a point when he told ABC's Good Morning America, "We have always said, and this has never changed: They simply don't have any evidence. They have conjecture, rumor, speculation, hearsay, but they don't have any evidence. Even a predisposition jury is going to want to hear evidence, and they don't have any."
Peterson attorneys continue to argue that the evidence is insufficient to incriminate the former police officer of murdering his wife.
Will County Deputy Coroner Matt VanOver, investigating officer, testified in the court last week "There were no obvious signs of struggle or foul play in the bathtub. I don't know how else she could have drowned...If a person would have fallen in that bathtub; I'm of the opinion that those bottles around the edge of that bathtub would have gone flying... It's a fairly small tub, and if a person would have fell, it's unlikely they would have come to rest that way," as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
However, another investigating officer, Illinois state police trooper Robert Deel, testified that he did not see any signs of foul play and "was not thinking that it was a homicide at that time," (www.chicagotribune.com).
In another testimony by Diana Grandel, 40, who claimed to be Peterson's lover told the court that she received love-letters from Peterson that were "incriminating to him," as reported by ABC News. She said that her initial intention was to try and help Peterson, because she believed "This just is not him, it couldn't have happened this way," but said that his letters to her, where he wrote about Stacy Peterson, his fourth wife who went missing, changed her opinion of him, she told the court "After he offered to give me Stacy's clothing when my home burned down, I had a change of heart... I don't believe it (his innocence) for a second," reported by ABC News.
But judge Burmila ruled, "The court believes that the defendant's ability to receive a fair trial is not extinguished at this time," and declined declaring it a mistrial, according to USA Today.
Savio, was discovered dead in her bathtub in 2004, to which Brodsky told jurors, "This was a household accident...Kathy slipped and fell in a household accident, case closed," according Huffington Post.
But prosecutor James Glasgow insisted "The evidence shows this wasn't an accident," according to ABC News.
Peterson was a former sergeant in the Bolingbrook Police Department in Illinois. In 2007 he became the chief suspect for the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. The Search for Stacy led the police to discover the body of Kathleen Savio, who was found in her dried bathtub in 2003. Peterson instantly became the prime suspect in her murder. Police believe that Peterson had something to do with the disappearance of his fourth wife as well. The Peterson mystery swept the nation, who were immediately hooked this real-life murder mystery. The media reveled in it, so much so that LifeTime TV made a movie based on the incident called "Untouchable" starring Robert Lowe.