Trial Halted After Bolingbrook Juror Realizes He Knows a Witness
A Braidwood man who said Peterson allegedly gave him $25,000 to find a hitman to kill Kathleen Savio and Illinois State Police Sgt. Bryan Falat have testified Wednesday.
Updated 4:44 p.m.
One of the jurors just realized he knows a witness that was called to testify.
The juror alerted a bailiff to this right after Nick Pontarelli, a next-door neighbor of Kathleen Savio, took the witness stand.
Pontarelli was 14 when Savio died in March 2004. His mother and sister have already testified but the juror, a college student who lives in Bolingbrook, apparently does not know them.
The juror, the judge and all the attorneys are now in a conference room trying to figure out what to do.
Updated 12:22 p.m.
Illinois State Police Sgt. Bryan Falat followed Pachter to the witness stand and told of Sgt. Patrick Collins's curious decision to allow Drew Peterson to sit alongside his young fourth wife Stacy when she was questioned about Kathleen Savio's death.
"I told Sgt. Collins that I didn't thik it was a good idea," said Falat, who at the time of Savio's March 2004 death was a state trooper temporarily assigned the the investigations division.
Falat also said, "We never interview two people in the same room."
Collins also allowed Peterson, a Bolingbrook cop, to be questioned in the lunchroom of the Bolingbrook Police Department.
Falat said he was only sent to the Savio death scene to assist Collins. He said that he alerted state police crime scene technician Robert Deel to a used condom in a bathroom waste basket, but that Deel didn't bother collecting it to be processed.
Falat also said he looked for blood or hair on the sides or edges of the tub but found none.
Defense attorney Joseph "Shark" Lopez asked Falat if he found "anything out of the ordinary" while looking through Savio's house.
"You mean besides Ms. Savio deceased in the tub with no water?" Falat shot back.
Updated 10:41 a.m.
Jeffrey Pachter told the jury how Drew Peterson took him for a ride in his Bolingbrook squad car and offered him $25,000 to find someone to kill his third wife Kathleen Savio.
If he could find someone to kill Savio for less than $25,000, Pachter said, he could keep the difference.
Pachter said Peterson told him Savio had something on him and was going to go to the police. Pachter also said Peterson told him Savio had a drug problem.
Pachter was a registered sex offender for 10 years, owed $1,000 to his bookie at the time of Peterson's alleged overture, and at one point owed $35,000 in back taxes.
During his cross-examination, defense attorney Joseph "Shark" Lopez pointed out that Pachter has never actually killed anyone before and has no experience in murder-for-hire.
"Are you a member if the Chicago outfit employed as a hitman?" Lopez asked.
Pachter told him he was not.
Pachter also testified that Peterson wanted to know when Savio's murder would be carried out so he would have an alibi. Pachter said Peterson planned to either be out of the country when Savio was killed or at Great America amusement park.
If he chose to be at Great America, Pachter said, Peterson told him he was going to get in a fight so there would be a record of his presece at the park.
First on the stand Wednesday the Braidwood man Drew Peterson allegedly offered $25,000 to find him a hitman can testify.
Judge Edward Burmila ruled Tuesday that the Braidwood man could take the stand. Whether he would be able to testify was unclear before.
Jeffrey Pachter, of Braidwood, said Peterson asked him to find someone to kill his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Soon after, Savio was found dead in her bathtub.
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