No mistrial in ex-cop's homicide trial

Aug. 15, 2012 at 2:29 PM
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JOLIET, Ill., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The Illinois trial of Drew Peterson, the former police officer charged with killing his ex-wife, resumed Wednesday after his lawyers withdrew a mistrial motion.

Judge Edward Burmila refused a defense request to punish prosecutors by banning any hearsay testimony from the trial, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Joe Lopez, one of Peterson's lawyers, said they were doing what their client wanted. Lopez said Peterson believes prosecutors have been trying to "bait" his lawyers into making mistrial motions.

"Mr. Peterson wants the world to know he's not afraid, nor will he run and hide with a second chance," Lopez said. "He wants this jury and it's his choice to have a jury trial."

Peterson, a retired police sergeant in Bolingbrook, Ill., is charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2007. Savio was found dead in a bathtub and the death was originally ruled accidental but the investigation was reopened in 2007 when Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared. She remains missing.

The defense asked for a mistrial Tuesday when a prosecutor questioned Teresa Kernc, a retired Bolingbrook police lieutenant, about Savio's alleged request for an order of protection. Kernc said Savio later decided not to proceed because she did not want Peterson to lose his job.

The judge had banned any mention of orders of protection two hours before Assistant Will County State's Attorney Kathleen Patton asked the question.

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