No bathtub in court for Peterson trial

July 4, 2012 at 3:33 PM
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JOLIET, Ill., July 4 (UPI) -- Prosecutors cannot bring into court the bathtub where a former Illinois police officer, Drew Peterson, allegedly killed his third wife, a judge says.

Peterson is scheduled to go on trial later this month. At a hearing Tuesday, Will County Judge Edward Burmila said he might have jurors travel to Peterson's former home in Bolingbrook to see the tub in its original position -- although it would have to be reinstalled to do that, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Kathleen Savio's death was ruled accidental after she was found in the tub in 2004. But prosecutors reopened the investigation after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, vanished in 2007.

Peterson, a former member of the Bolingbrook police department, was indicted on a murder charge in 2009.

Prosecutors argue that seeing the tub will give jurors a better sense of what happened than photographs of Savio's body. But Joseph Lopez, Peterson's lawyer, argued the tub needs to be seen in context and that prosecutors cannot use it for dramatic effect.

"As far as the tub being dramatically brought in -- that's not going to happen under any set of circumstances," Burmila said.

Jury selection is set to begin July 23 in Joliet.

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