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Drew Peterson Defense Launches Case

Drew Peterson's lawyers called their first witnesses in the ex-cop's murder trial.

The judge in the murder trial rejected a bid by defense attorneys to have the accused wife-killer acquitted without even putting on a case.

Peterson lawyer argued at length Monday that prosecutors utterly failed to prove Peterson was even in the home of his third wife, , when she died, much less that he killed her.

"They didn't do it because they can't do it," Greenberg said. "It's like they were trying to nail a clump of Jell-o to a tree and make it stick there," he said.

After Judge denied the ruling, the defense called six witnesses, none of whom was Peterson's son . Sun-Times columnist and Drew Peterson "friend" Michele "Michael" Sneed claimed earlier in the day that Thomas Peterson was going to be on the witness stand before the day was through.

"Chicago Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed has learned that Drew Peterson's eldest son with Kathleen Savio will testify Monday that he does not believe his father killed his mother," the Sun-Times trumpeted online before changing the story when it turned out to be wrong.

Sneed used the name "Michele" when she

The defense did call three witnesses who have already testified for the prosecution and followed them with three who were new for the jury.

, who lived next door to Savio and says she was her best friend, testified that she had never seen Peterson get angry at Savio or strike her.

Pontarelli neglected to mention that she pulled up in her car as Peterson was forcing Savio face-down into the grass during a 2002 dispute.

“I said, ‘Drew, how could you pin your wife down into the lawn in front of the whole neighborhood?’” Pontarelli testified during a 2010 pretrial hearing. “He said, ‘Mare, don’t come any closer. This is police business.’”

Pontarelli also said Peterson "joked a lot."

"He's the funny guy, always telling jokes about things," she said. "Not in
a mean way, in a fun way."

Illinois State Police Master Sgt. next took the stand and fielded questions about his interview with Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, in the wake of Savio's March 2004 death.

Prosecutors objected when Peterson attorney tried to question Falat about how Stacy told him she and Peterson slept through the night Savio was supposedly killed.

Assistant State's Attorney said he would pursue evidence Judge Edward Burmila had already excluded if Brodsky kept it up, and the judge indicated he was willing to let him have it.

"You're the captain of the ship," Burmila told Brodsky. "If you want to travel in that direction, you go right ahead."

Brodsky backed off and later defended nearly handing prosecutors the evidence they want to present regarding statements Peterson purportedly made to Stacy about Savio's death.

Insurance adjuster Joseph Steadman, who also has previously testified, was called in to tell the jury about Savio's policy and whether Peterson knew she had removed him as the beneficiary of her $1 million policy.

FBI Agent Joseph Basile, Bolingbrook Police Officer Rob Sud and state police Investigator Darrin Devine also testified before Brodsky told the judge he was out of witnesses.

Burmila said he will start Tuesday early so lawyers can argue over the expected testimony of Wheaton attorney Harry Smith, who handled Savio's divorce from Peterson and claims he was told by Stacy that Peterson killed his third wife.

The jury—who have ramped up their effort to be noticed by the public—will report at the usual time.

After weeks of wearing color-coordinated outfits, the jury on Monday all wore shirts bearing the logos of various athletic teams.

The Bears and White Sox were the most popular choices, but the Blackhawks were represented, as was the University of North Carolina Augustana College.

Burmila joked with the jury about their clothing, but defense attorney said he heard some grumbling in the courthouse corridor about their attire.

"I did hear somebody in the hallway say, 'This is a murder trial not a fashion show,'" Lopez said. "I'm not sure what that means."

Watchful Eye August 28, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Michelle & Martin - would you, if you were on the jury, vote to acquit Peterson because of the State's case? I ask that because in my mind, Peterson is the reason for the doubt. He knew how to muck up the death scene by sending in a whole bunch of people before him, then he came into the room and touch about everything he could. A reasonable person might, in fact, realize that he did all of that on purpose, to taint and poison any evidence that might be collected, although none ever was. Even if it had been collected, as a juror, I wouldn't expect it to help me deliberate his guilt or innocence. Circumstantial evidence is abundant in this case, IMO. Circumstantial evidence is legal, and it is allowed in trials. It can be used to convict a defendant. I'm not so sure this guy is going to get off. Being in the courtroom and seeing the witnesses testify is a lot different than reading bits and pieces the media puts out. I do not believe there is gong to be a unanimous decision to acquit him. Either guilty or hung jury, IMO.
Martin August 28, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Watchful Eye...what do you have against replying to comments? You seem to always start a new comment. Makes it very hard to follow your logic much of the time. As to your comment...from what I have seen, through the media, I would vote to Acquit. I haven't seen anything from the Prosecution that would make me think Drew was dead to rights Guilty.
Watchful Eye August 28, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Martin - never mind.
Pro Life Crusader + August 28, 2012 at 09:47 PM
I can just hear the jurors now. I'm so confused!
charles August 28, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I know I wasn't asked, but if I were on the jury, I'd vote guilty. I see a narcissitic cop who thought he was above reproach and assumed he could use his knowledge of criminology to commit the perfect crime. And actually, DP did an oustanding job at covering his tracks; but the lack of any type of hard evidence or witnesses is suspicious in itself. It's just too convenient that they only person who might be able to shed some light on what really happenedto KS that night has been missing for several years now. Also, his legal team presents themselves as a bunch of people who are trying to deflect the attention away from the real matter at hand; don't need to do that if there's nothing to hide! I know everyone gets their panties in a bunch over the use of heresay evidence to gain a conviction, but since this was almost the perfect crime, that's all anyone was left to work with; but it's still a crime! KS is no less dead because there is only heresay and circumstantial evidence and I hope the jury will see it from that same perspective. If they find him not guilty, I hope those jurors continue to avoid all of the media attention DP and his circus has been given over the years. Imagine how it would feel to find him not guilty, then read all the stuff we've all been privledged to read....it all screams guilty.

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