Friday, May 29, 2009
Jury In Drew Peterson’s Criminal Trial Hangs!
Chicago, IL—A 12-member jury heard the evidence and could not reach a unanimous verdict in the "trial" of murder suspect Drew Peterson.
The jury was picked from random observers at Chicago’s Kent College of Law. Available evidence was presented at a Mock Trial held before retired Cook County Circuit court Judge Richard E. Neville at the school’s Marovitz Courtroom.
The case was prosecuted by WGN radio co-host of Legally Speaking, and lawyer Karen Conti who guided jurors through Peterson’s failings as a husband along with his lecherous fondness for young women. Conti fell short of having any physical evidence that tied Drew Peterson to the death.
Conti had to deal with the original and follow up autopsy results finding Kathleen Savio’s death was the result of an accidental drowning presumably in her own bathtub. Conti suggested the Coroner’s Jury’s verdict was unduly influenced by a member that was a cop that had once worked with Peterson.
The Savio/Peterson marriage was described by Conti as a violent one where both parties called local police on 18 occasions. There was never an incident where either party suffered an apparent injury.
The Defense was presented by lawyer Joseph Lopez. He described Savio as being a feisty woman upset with Peterson’s dumping her for a younger woman.
Lopez hammered at the weakness of the state’s case and suggested that the hearsay evidence offered by Peterson’s now missing young wife Stacy Peterson was unreliable.
Noting that Stacy Peterson was involved with at least one new lover, she met her young minister, Neil Schori, not at a church but at a local restaurant. The ministered claim was that Stacy Peterson revealed that her husband confessed killing his third wife and expressed her own fears she was next in line for murder.
The best advice the minister claimed he could give was to, “Go home and pray about it.” Lopez insisted that the minister had an obligation to tell the young woman to flee from the danger and notify the authorities. The strong suggestion was that of deception by the young minister.
The jury was instructed by Judge Neville and retired for a 30 minute attempt at deliberations. The jury was split six-six and could not agree on a verdict.
The jury panel consisted of nurses, sales people, a banker, office manager and retired folks.
The public event was sponsored by WGN Radio and Moderated by another WGN Legally Speaking co-host lawyer, Greg Adamski. Also on board the trial was jury consultant, Dr. Cindy Adams.
This mini-trial made it clear that prosecutors will have an uphill battle to convict the retired cop of killing his third wife even with questionable hearsay evidence.
That was assuming that the new “Drew Peterson Hearsay Law” stands certain legal challenges even before a real trial will begin.
The entire event was recorded and will be broadcast by WGN on June 14 and 15.
In a related matter yesterday, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow filed a motion on Wednesday to gag Peterson’s defense attorneys from leaking any information from discovery documents, which must be turned over to Peterson's legal team for the first time next week.