Yesterday, the second day of the Drew Peterson trial, ended with Drew Peterson’s defense team being absolutely outraged over the testimony of Thomas Pontarelli, one of the neighbors that found Kathleen Savio’s dead body in her bathtub.
He had testified that he had helped Kathleen Savio change some locks in her home. Pontarelli, apparently fearful of Peterson, denied changing the locks when Peterson asked him.
What was so explosive was that he added that he had received a message from Peterson – a bullet in his driveway.
This sent the defense into a tizzy and had them screaming “mistrial”.
Day 2 ended with the Judge asking Peterson’s defense team to consider having Pontarelli’s testimony stricken from the record as part of a compromise to their motion for a mistrial with prejudice.
More information can be found in yesterday’s blog post on the Drew Peterson trial update murder trial day 2 recap
The Drew Peterson trial Day 3 began with, as expected, the motion for mistrial.
Defense attorney Steve Greenberg again asked for a “mistrial with prejudice”.
A mistrial with prejudice occurs in cases that involve prosecutorial misconduct or judicial misconduct. If granted, a retrial will be barred meaning that Peterson would not be able to be retried on the same charges.
People were holding their breath on this one and Judge Edward Burmila denied the motion.
Jurors were instructed to disregard the portion of testimony from Pontarelli that talked about the bullet.
He told the jurors that they could consider the rest of Pontarelli’s testimony,
The Judge also reminded the jurors to remain “dispassionate” in their judgment of the case
The Chicago Tribune reports that when Judge Burmilla addressed the jury, he specifically told them that the state’s prosecutor, “Kathleen Patton asked a question which she knew would draw an inadmissable response”
Peterson’s defense team also made it known that he believes that the prosecution is intentionally trying to have a mistrial declared
After the motion for mistrial was denied and the jury was instructed to disregard the “bullet” testimony, the trial continued.
Louis Oleskiewicz, a Bolingbrook Paramedic who responded to the 911 call when Savio’s body was found took the stand.
He said he told police investigators that, “Sargent Peterson appeared sad at the death of his wife and his eyes were red.”
He also said that the anti-depressant Zoloft, Celebrex, a pain reliever and Sudafed were found in Savio’s home and that Savio had a heart murmur.
It was interesting to note that Oleskiewicz thought it was strange that there was no bath rug on the floor or large towels in the bathroom and that it did not look like Savio was getting ready for a bath.
This is important because, although the hearsay evidence is not allowed, Stacy Peterson, Peterson’s 4th wife who is now missing, allegedly told her Pastor that her husband killed Savio and made it look like an accident.
Peterson, a former Bolingbrook Police Sargent would have knowledge about “staging a crime scene” that the average non-police professional would not be privy to.
Robert Akin, a locksmith took the stand, Akin has a history of working with the Bolingbrook Police Department conducting welfare checks and had a working relationship with Peterson.
He was called by Peterson to gain entry to Savio’s home.
He said that when he opened the door, Drew Peterson made small talk with him while the neighbors went in first and then he heard a scream.
(It has been alleged that as part of the “staging of the crime scene” that Peterson intentionally lingered letting the neighbors walk in first and find the body of Kathleen Savio)
Bolingbrook Fire Department Lt. Michael R. Newton also took the stand. He was on the fire truck that responded to the call when Savio’s body was discovered in 2004.
He recalled that Peterson did seem upset and asked that his ex-wife be treated with respect.
Newton also said that he did not place a small blue towel on the edge of the tub. The mysterious blue towel was caught in crime scene photos but the other witnesses that testified said they did not see it.
The Paramedic that testified earlier in the day said that he did see bath rugs or towels when he responded and noted that it did not look like someone was preparing for a bath.
You don’t have to be a legal whiz to realize that there is no physical evidence connecting Drew Peterson to the murder of this 3rd wife Kathleen Savio.
Mounds of circumstantial evidence and innuendo but no physical evidence.
Drew Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared and he has long been a suspect in that case although there is no evidence tying him to that crime. He maintains that she simply left their children and ran off with someone.
What will the outcome of the trial be? Will Peterson walk? If he does, will it be akin to the case of Casey Anthony who was found overwhelmingly guilty by public opinion but innocent in a court of law.