The Drew Peterson trial update for Day 2 was filed with lots of objections and ended with a motion for mistrial being considered by the defense.
The trial ended early because the judge wanted to give Peterson’s attorney some time to think about whether they will pursue their motion for a mistrial or not.
Yesterday, Mary Pontarelli, a neighbor and friend of Kathleen Savio testified. She was one of the people who found Savio’s dead body in the bathtub.
Today, her husband Thomas Pontarelli testified and it was his testimony that has the defense screaming “mistrial”
NBC News reported that Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Patton asked Thomas Pontarelli about Drew Peterson being angry with him for helping his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, change some locks in her home.
Pontarelli said that Peterson did accuse him and that he, Pontarelli, denied it to Drew but that he had received a message.
When asked what the message was, Pontarelli told jurors he found a .38-caliber bullet in his driveway, prompting immediate outrage by defense attorney Steven Greenberg.
Jurors and Pontarelli were ordered to leave the courtroom.
Judge Burmilla then asked Patton if she would be able to demonstrate that Peterson had been the one who left the bullet and Patton said that she could not.
The Judge questioned why Patton would do that – referring to her allowing Pontrelli’s testimony on the bullet. The judge said, “You are going to leave the jury with the impression that the defendant put it there.”
Prosecutors said they were not trying to poison the jury. The defense felt that it was intentional.
Burmilla told prosecutors the statement about the bullet was not supported by any evidence and that their actions were very troubling.
Pontarelli, earlier in his testimony, recounted an incident when he was helping Savio move some items to the garage and then Peterson arrived. He claims Peterson told him, “Any friend of hers is an enemy of mine”
He also recalled the dry bathtub where Savio was found as being clean and pristine.
Objections were frequent from both sides during the first two days of the murder trial.
That is the biggest question right now. Will the Drew Peterson trial result in a mistrial?
Rather than rule on a possible mistrial today, the Judge asked defense lawyers to consider having Pontarelli’s testimony stricken from the record as part of a compromise to their motion for a mistrial with prejudice.
A mistrial with prejudice occurs in cases that involve prosecutorial misconduct or judicial misconduct.
The legal dictionary we reviewed states that if a mistrial with prejudice is granted resulting from judicial or prosecutorial misconduct, a retrial will be barred meaning that if granted Peterson would not be able to be retried on the same charges.
It is unclear if Pontarelli’s testimony will be attributed to prosecutorial misconduct.
The trial is expected to resume Thursday with the mistrial motion likely being the first thing addressed Thursday morning.
Check back Thursday an updated Drew Peterson trial update.