The Drew Peterson trial updates are a subject of a widespread interest. People seem captivated by the former Bolingbrook Police Sergeant who stands accused of murdering his 3rd wife Kathleen Savio.
The big issue that had been looming overnight is whether or not a mistrial will be called in the Drew Peterson trial.
Peterson’s defense made a motion for mistrial with prejudice because the prosecution asked a witness a question, in front the jury, that she was expressly told by the judge not to ask.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Patton was the one responsible for the most recent “blunder” and after appearing before Judge Burmila to explain her actions, she was seen looking visibly upset.
It was somewhat surprising that Peterson’s defense team withdrew their motion for mistrial since it appears, that based on previous blunders of a similar nature, that they stood a good chance of obtaining a ruling int heir favor.
Or then again maybe not.
Although the Judge was irritated obviously at the prosecution, he was also annoyed at Peterson’s defense team because they requested a motion for mistrial with prejudice.
If that motion with prejudice was granted, that would mean that Peterson could not be retried.
Judge Burmila let the defense team know that they could ask for a mistrial but that he would be the one to determine if it was with prejudice or not.
A mistrial with prejudice is not granted frequently and judicial or prosecutorial misconduct must be present for it to be granted.
Peterson’s legal team likely weighed their options and perhaps did not want to risk being granted a mistrial without prejudice and then find themselves in the position of starting all over again with another jury.
USA Today reports that defense attorney Joe Lopez said,
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 did ask that all the hearsay testimony be stricken from the recor and that request was denied.
Hearsay testimony – better known as testimony from the gravve is a cruicial part of the porsecutions case since is there is no physical evidence linking Peterson.
Savio had told a number of people that she was fearful of her ex-husband and wife #4, Stacy Peterson, who remains missing also told others, namely her Pastor, that Peterson orchestrated Savio’s death to look like an accident.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the judge addressed the the prosecutors error with the jury and also read a stipulation that both sides crafted state that no order of protection was sought.
Teresa Kernc went back on the stand. She’s a a former Bolingbrook Police Officer who responded to a call from Savio after she came home to find Peterson there dressed in a SWAT uniform.
It was during Kernc’s testimony yesterday, that the prosecution asked the question about the order of protection that nearly caused a mistrial.
Kernc continued with her testimony regarding the SWAT incident and said that Savio ended up taking out all references about Peterson having a knife because she didn’t want him to get arrested and lose his job.
The defense did elicit upon cross examination that Kernc did not know of a previous call that Savio had made one week prior to the Bolingbrook police to complain about a visitation dispute with Peterson and that she did not mention the attack at that time.
Kernc also said that she was not friends with Peterson.
Dr Larry Blum, a forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy on Savio after her body was exhumed took the stand.
The Chicago Tribune described the testimony and it is very interesting.
Apparently Dr. Blum was so thorough in his investigation that he even visited the scene of the crime and climbed into the bathtub.
That testimony was not supposed to be heard because the prosecution, yet again, asked a question that they were prohibited from asking. And yet again, the Judge instructed the jurors to disregard the statement.
Blum also noted that the angle of Savio’s foot, in his opinion, would not be in that position in an accidental drowning.
His explosive testimony continued with him saying that Savio had fresh wounds on her that were deep down t the bone and occurred within 24 hours of her death.
Judge Burmila must be utterly frustrated with the prosecution. He did manage to crack a joke though. He talked about his time spent as an attorney practicing before a judge and remembered that the judge would say before making a decision, “Or in the alternative, I guess there’s nothing left to do but for me to blow my brains out”
He then added,
I’ve never really understood what he meant by that. But the public display of the state’s obvious disregard for the orders of this court is replete in the record.
Court will resume Thursday morning.
Stay tuned for more Drew Peterson trial updates.