Disputed evidence may further stall Drew Peterson trial

July 19, 2012 at 3:16 PM

CHICAGO, July 19 (UPI) -- A battle over disputed evidence threatens to further stall a Chicago murder trial that already has been delayed two years, court records show.

Former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson is scheduled to stand trial Monday on charges stemming from the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. However, The Chicago Sun-Times reported as of Wednesday, Will County Judge Edward Burmilla had yet to rule on whether he would allow the use of disputed hearsay evidence.

Burmilla said Wednesday he may bar the hearsay, which prosecutors contend is crucial in tying Peterson to Savio's death. When Assistant State's Attorney Colleen Griffin pressed Burmilla for a final ruling before jury selection begins, Burmilla ordered her to sit down.

"You don't tell me when I'm going to rule," he told her.

Peterson, 58, was never originally charged in Savio's death, however an investigation was reopened in 2007 after his fourth wife Stacy, 23, disappeared after allegedly asking her husband for a divorce. He was indicted in 2009.

Prosecutors have been barred from mentioning Stacy's disappearance to the jury, including statements Stacy reportedly made to family members. Among those statements, Stacy told a friend her husband made her provide an phony alibi to police the night of Savio's death.

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