Here is the Drew Peterson trial update for day. It began with Jury selection.
Drew Peterson is on trial for murdering his 3rd wife, Kathleen Savio who was found in March, 2004 dead in her bathtub. The death was initially ruled an accidental drowning even though there was no water in the bathtub.
His fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who he married shortly after his divorce from Savio was finalized, disappeared and although Peterson has not been arrested in that case, he remains a suspect.
Savio’s body was exhumed and that led to the murder charges against the former Police Sargent.
Peterson, who has a penchant for enjoying the limelight even in face of a murder case, sported a new haircut and wore a gray suit to court. He was permitted to introduce himself to the potential jurors and said,
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen, I’m Mr. Peterson. Have a good day.”
In what appears to be an early victory for Peterson’s defense team in the Drew Peterson trial, Judge Edward Burmila, during a brief hearing held before jurors entered the courtroom, denied a motion to admit each of the hearsay statements against Peterson, saying he would uphold a prior judge’s ruling that found eight of the statements were too unreliable to be heard in court.
Judge Burmila left open the opportunity that he might rule separately on the evidence if prosecutors are able to lay a foundation for the statements.
The prior Judge in the case , Judge White, had ruled that a pastor cannot testify as to what Stacy Peterson told him on the basis of hearsay.
After Stacy Peterson disappeared, her pastor, the Rev. Neil Schori, came forward and said that Stacy had told him that her husband, Drew Peterson, had killed Kathleen Savio and had made it look like an accident and that she was afraid of her husband. The pastor also cannot testify that according to Stacy, Peterson told Stacy what to tell police so the slaying would be “the perfect crime.”
There are a total of 212 potential jurors for the Drew Peterson trial. The potential jurors were chosen before Peterson’s trial was delayed two years ago. Judge Burmila placed the potential jurors into groups of about 40. According to the Chicago Tribune, 39 of the potential jurors were in the Joliet courthouse today. They had been told to avoid media coverage of the case however, several of the prospective jurors said they found it hard to avoid media reports about Peterson.
Cassandra Cales, Stacy Peterson’s sister, was in the courtroom for day one of the Drew Peterson trial. She said,
Drew Peterson’s attorney Joel Brodsky told ABC News, that he expects the case against his client to be thrown out,
“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 predispositioned jury is going to want to hear evidence, and they don’t have any”