Defense attorney Joel Brodsky said in his opening statement alleged victim Kathleen Savio was "bonkers" and "crazy" and "she lies and makes up stories to fit her purpose," the Chicago Tribune reported
"It seems like they're trying to make Drew the victim instead of Kathy," mother Marcia Savio said outside the Joliet courtroom,. "Kathy was always a strong girl and the problem is, she wasn't strong enough. The only thing we can do is hope and pray and hopefully Kathleen's going to get some justice."
Judge Edward Burmila chastised Brodsky for talking about Peterson's life history, twice ordering the jury out of the courtroom. The Tribune said State's Attorney James Glasgow came close to a potential mistrial when he began telling jurors about $25,000 allegedly offered by Peterson to find a hit man to kill Savio.
The prosecutor objected 25 times during Brodsky's opening statement, and was sustained 12 times.
With opening statements concluded, the prosecution was expected to call its first witnesses Tuesday afternoon. The Tribune said the witnesses were expected to be either one of Savio's neighbors or the locksmith Peterson hired to open the door of her Bolingbrook home when Savio's body was found in 2004.
Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg argued before opening statements Tuesday the prosecution should not be allowed to tell the jury there will be testimony characterizing the bathroom where Kathleen Savio's body was found as a "staged crime scene."
He also said the jury should not be told there would be hearsay testimony that Savio said she was afraid of Peterson or that Peterson would benefit financially from her death.
"How can they say these things in opening statements when they have no evidence," Greenberg asked.
But Burmila said it will be up to the defense to point out flaws in the prosecution's case, the Tribune said.
denied involvement in either case.
An Illinois appellate court ruled in April prosecutors could use potentially incriminating hearsay statements made by Savio and still-missing Stacy Peterson against him during the trial.
After the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife Stacy Peterson 3 1/2 years later, Savio's body was exhumed and she was determined to have died of drowning following a struggle.
Glasgow told reporters at the time he had come to believe Savio's death was a "homicide staged to look like an accident."
Stacy Peterson, 23, disappeared Oct. 28, 2007. Drew Peterson claims she called him at 9 p.m. to tell him she left him for another man.
Prosecutors allege Peterson killed Savio because he was afraid their pending divorce settlement would ruin him financially. They have suggested he killed Stacy Peterson because she knew about Savio's death. He has not been charged in her disappearance but is under investigation and has repeatedly
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]
Five men escape jail near Fresno, Calif.