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Jury set for Drew Peterson trial

July 24, 2012 at 5:54 PM   |   Comments

JOLIET, Ill., July 24 (UPI) -- Prosecutors and defense lawyers Tuesday settled on 12 jurors and four alternates for the murder trial of former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson.

Opening statements will be heard July 31 in the Will County courthouse in Joliet, the Chicago Tribune reported.

It took two days to cull the 212 prospective jurors down to the panel that will hear the case authorities have built against Peterson, a former police sergeant accused of drowning his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in her bathtub eight years ago.

During questioning, most of the potential jurors said they had tried to avoid news about the case but acknowledged it had been a difficult task. Several said they watched a TV movie about the former police officer, "Drew Peterson: Untouchable," the Tribune said.

Peterson introduced himself to the groups of prospective jurors as they were brought into the courtroom, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday.

"I'm Drew Peterson. I'm the defendant in this case," he said. "I'd like to thank you for your time."

Judge Edward Burmila, after conferring with attorneys for both sides, Tuesday dismissed one juror selected the previous day after the man said the trial would interfere with his vacation plans.

Tuesday's questioning was delayed for a time until new pants could be found for the defendant. Peterson's attorneys asked for new ones to replace a pair that didn't fit properly.

"They don't have good tailors in the jail," the Sun-Times said defense attorney Joel Brodsky quipped outside the courtroom.

Peterson is accused of killing Savio while they were going through an acrimonious divorce. Her body was found March 1, 2004, in her empty bathtub. Her death initially was ruled an accident, but the matter was re-examined after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared. Savio's death was ruled a homicide after her body was exhumed and autopsied.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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