Prosecutors apparently feel Illinois State Police crime scene technician Robert Deel has done enough damage to high-profile murder cases for one month.
Just two weeks after Deel testified under oath in the Drew Peterson murder trial that he believes Peterson's third wife Kathleen Savio actually died in an accident, prosecutors took steps to minimize Deel's role in the .
A motion penned by Michael Fitzgerald asks Judge Daniel Rozak to stop Vaughn's lawyers from asking Deel about his involvement in the Peterson case or about a supposed letter sent to his supervisors.
Fitzgerald requested Rozak "prohibit the defense from questioning Robert Deel about a letter he believes the state police received from the Will County State's Attorney's Office requesting that Robert Deel no longer perform crime scene investigation in Will County cases," according to the motion filed Wednesday.
"The same issue was raised in the Drew Peterson trial, and there was no evidence produced in that case to show such a letter exists," the motion said.
Vaughn, 37, allegedly gunned down his wife and three young children as they sat helpless in the family's Ford Expedition. Vaughn explained to the police that it was actually his wife, Kimberly Vaughn, 34, who killed their children, then shot him in the wrist and leg before he fled for his life.
Kimberly turned the gun on herself after he got away and committed suicide, according to Vaughn's version of the killings.
Prosecutors contend that Vaughn inflicted the minor gunshot wounds to himself to bolster his cover story. But according to a March article in the Chicago Tribune, Deel was convinced that Vaughn was telling the truth.
For some reason, the story said, Vaughn suspected that none of the other cops were paying any attention to him.
"I wasn't being listened to by them," Deel said in the Tribune story. "In fact, every time that I offered up something that was contrary to what they said, they had some reason why I didn't know what I was talking about, and basically it all fell back on that Christopher Vaughn is a criminal mastermind and he knows all about crime scenes and that he would be able to fool me into thinking that something else happened."
Not surprisingly, Fitzgerald is asking the judge to stop Vaughn's lawyers from asking Deel "about what occurred in the Ford Expedition because Deel will not be qualified as an expert by the state."
In March 2004—three years before the Vaughn family was killed—Deel was sent to Savio's home when she was found drowned in her dry bathtub. The lead investigator in the Savio case, state police Sgt. Patrick Collins, said he was swayed by Deel into believing Savio's death was an accident.
Deel collected no evidence from Savio's house. He did not dust for fingerprints or even check if her basement windows were locked.
He testified two weeks ago that he planned to go back and look for clues if an autopsy performed the day after her death revealed that she had been slain.