This Drew Peterson trial update might surprise you since the Drew Peterson trial looks like it’s in it’s final week. Defense attorney’s have been presenting their case this week. and last week, Peterson defense attorney Joe Lopez told reporters that their defense of Peterson should last only two days. He said, “It’ll go smoothly, and it’ll go quick”
Looks like he’s right.
Is Peterson’s defense team feeling confident that the prosecution has not been able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt? Confident enough that they have so few witnesses, none who have thus far appeared to have dropped any major bombshells.
Only one witness testified on Monday, Mary Pontarelli. She was a close friend and neighbor of Kathleen Savio. She was with Peterson when Savio’s body was discovered. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook Police Sergeant had called a locksmith to let him in to the home after he was unable to reach Savio.
He allegedly lingered near the door talking with the locksmith while she went looking for Savio and discovered her dead body.
On Tuesday, there was expert testimony from 2 forensic pathologists who provided their opinions as to why Savio death’s is due to an accidental drowning and not a homicide.
This morning, Judge Burmila ruled that attorney Harry Smith can be called to testify but that if called, the entire conversation will be played and not just select parts of it.
Smith was Stacy Peterson’s attorney, Drew Peterson’s fourth wife who is currently still missing. It was after Stacy Peterson’s disappearance that Kathleen Savio, Peterson’s third wife’s body was exhumed and he was subsequently charged with first degree murder.
Stacy Peterson allegedly had planned on divorcing Peterson and she allegedly asked Smith if she could obtain more money from the divorce settlement if she threatened to tell what she knew about Savio’s death.
There was also more drama with prosecutors failing to turn over a report to the defense team – a common theme that has happened numerous times during the Drew Peterson trial and Judge Burmila was irritated.
The report was regarding an interview conducted with Drew Peterson’s son, Tom Peterson.
Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor said that he thought the report was turned over previously and that they were not trying to withhold evidence.
We’re losing count of all the prosecutions errors!
The jurors were wearing blue and orange today, according to reports from the Chicago Tribune. Those are Chicago Bears colors – one side was wearing blue; the other orange.
The jurors seems to enjoy the attention and are giving the appearance of presenting a unified front. Will it last once they retire to deliberate?
Patrick Collins took the stand. He is a a retired Illinois Police Sergeant and was one of the officers who responded to the 911 call at Savio’s house.
Collins had previously testified for the prosecution and testified that he worked the crime scene with Illinois Trooper Robert Deel and that he deferred to Deel since it was his first homicide and asked if anything needed to be collected and that Deel replied that the death appeared to be accidental so that it was not necessary.
He also admitted to allowing Drew Peterson to sit in on the interview that he and another officer conducted with Stacy Peterson, regarding the death of Savio – something that he had never done before.
He was questioned by the defense and again said that it was his first Homicide, that nothing appeared out of the ordinary and that it was a learning experience for him
Eileen Payonk of the Illinois State Police testified. She was briefly in charge of the investigation after the case was reopened. She said that investigators returned to the home to collect evidence but there was nothing to collect.
Harry Smith, the attorney that Stacy Peterson consulted with about a divorce from Drew Peterson, took the stand.
He testified about the conversation he had with his client and said, “She wanted to know if the fact that he killed Kathy (Savio) could be used against him”, according to the Chicago tribune,
His testimony was explosive. He was accused by the defense of committing perjury on the stand and for “making faces”. Judge Burmilla allowed him to be treated as hostile witness.
(A hostile or adverse witness, is a person who testifies during a legal trial and that testimony during direct examination harms the case of the side that called him or her to testify. (in this case, the defense). If the judge declares the witness to be hostile, the calling attorney is permitted to question the witness as they would during a cross-examination, which includes the use of leading questions. )
Being questioned by the defense, Smith said that he did tell Savio to be careful because of her concealment of a homicide and that he didn’t tell her to be careful because of extortion concerns.
(personally I am a loss here as to why the divorce attorney would not come forward with evidence of a murder)
Smith also said that Stacy told him that Drew Peterson was upset with her because he thought she told his son Tom, her stepson, about the murder of his mother. She also said that she thought her husband was spying on her and that she had gotten a second cell phone that Peterson did not know about in order to thwart the tracking attempt.
She also allegedly said to Smith that she had too much on Drew for him to do anything to her.
Tom Peterson was only 10 years old when his mother died and said that he never suspected that his father Drew Peterson was involved in the murder of his murder and that he never noticed anything out of the ordinary around the time of the murder
The now 19 year old son of Drew Peterson provided his recollection of the the weekend before his mother was found dead and said that he remembers that both he and his father just assumed that they could not reach her because it was a 3 day weekend.
When they still could not reach Savio on Monday (March 1, 2004), Tom Peterson said that his father was concerned because that was the day he was supposed to return home to his mother.
He then recalled being awoken on Tuesday by Peterson who told him his mother was dead and he recalled his father being very sad which was in contrast to Peterson’s usual demeanor.
He also testified that he was on the stand voluntarily and that he believed his father was innocent. That last comment was objected to and the jury was told to disregard that comment.
Drew Peterson’s defense team finished calling their witnesses and as Judge Burmila said he would do – he asked Drew Peterson if he would be testifying. He said he would not and the defense has rested their case after only 2 and a half days.
Court resumes Thursday morning and the state prosecutors will have a chance on Thursday to start recalling some witnesses to rebut the defense case in the Drew Peterson trial.