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Judge rips Peterson prosecutors over motion

May 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM   |   Comments

JOLIET, Ill., May 26 (UPI) -- The judge in the case of ex-Bolingbrook, Ill., police Sgt, Drew Peterson, charged with drowning his third wife, ripped prosecutors for a motion about e-mails.

Judge Edward Burmila said he encouraged defense attorneys to share motions with all involved parties via e-mail before the documents were filed to allow the state more time to respond. Prosecutors filed a sealed motion seeking to bar the e-mails, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

Burmila said the state's motion misstated the facts, implying he improperly made substantive rulings that should have been handled in court.

During the Friday afternoon hearing, Burmila ordered State's Attorney James Glasgow or his criminal division chief, Kathy Patton, to substantiate allegations that the judge limited e-mails to those discussing the location of the trial and the availability of witnesses.

Even though prosecutors withdrew the allegations, Burmila said it was "highly inappropriate" and "shocking" for prosecutors to imply he made substantive rulings by e-mail, even though it wasn't the case.

Glasgow said prosecutors were concerned defense attorneys were sending emails late, and prosecutors didn't have a chance to respond until a day later.

Patton told the judge she had not meant to imply that, adding she would "certainly apologize if the court took it that way."

The attorneys agreed to exchange e-mails during office hours, the Tribune said.

Jury selection in the case begins July 23. Peterson is accused of drowning his wife Kathleen Savio in her Bolingbrook home. Investigators said he is the only suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, but has not been charged.

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