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Drew Peterson Back in Court

The former Bolingbrook police sergeant charged with killing one wife and suspected in the disappearance of another appeared in court for the first time in nearly a year and a half.

Drew Peterson left the Will County jail for the first time in nearly a year and a half as his murder case resumed with a pair of brief court hearings Friday morning.

In the first, Judge Sarah Jones passed the case off to Judge Edward Burmilla, who accepted motions presented by the defense and scheduled a May 17 court date.

Burmilla was the Will County State's Attorney until he was defeated by the current state's attorney, James Glasgow, in 1992. Burmilla has been a judge since 2004, the same year Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found drowned in a dry bathtub.

The state police investigated Savio's death and concluded that she perished in a freak bathtub accident. But three and a half years later, after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished, the state police abruptly changed course and decided Savio had been slain.

The state police eventually arrested Drew Peterson on charges he murdered Savio. The state police continue to investigate Stacy Peterson's disappearance but have failed to find her or charge anyone with harming her.

Drew Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant who resigned in disgrace soon after his wife disappeared, has been jailed in lieu of $20 million bond since May 2009.

Four of Peterson's five defense attorneys appeared at Friday's hearing. They tendered four motions to Burmilla and defense attorney Joel Brodsky said there would be more to come before the May 17 hearing.

One motion asks the court to forbid any mention of Stacy Peterson during the murder trial. Another calls for the case to be dismissed due to the testimony of a Wheaton attorney who represented Savio in her divorce from Drew Peterson and who also claims he was visited by Stacy Peterson just before she vanished.

Smith testified to a grand jury and also took the stand during a month-long pretrial hearing in 2010 to determine what hearsay evidence could be used against Peterson.

The motion accuses Smith of violating attorney-client privilege. Steve Greenberg, another lawyer representing Peterson, called it the "worst breach of attorney ethics."

Greenberg went on to disparage the state's case, saying, "We can't prove anyone else did it, so he must have done it. That's a ridiculous theory."

Yet another Peterson attorney, Joseph "Shark" Lopez, suggested the state police got things right the first time with Savio.

"There's no evidence there was a homicide," Lopez said. "It was an accident. She slipped, she fell, she hit her head. End of story."

Glasgow was dismissive of the claims made by Peterson's attorneys.

"The defense lawyers have said how many things to you and how many things have been right?" Glasgow said. "Count them."

John Moreli May 05, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Drew's lawyers are just doing their job as any defense lawyer would! Also if the case went to Texas he can not get the death penalty there!
R. Paxson May 05, 2012 at 03:29 PM
The whole case is sleazy including the our self indugent States Attorney. This case is not so much about the sleaze being tried but rather the larger issue that could effect all of us - Hearsay Evidence. Had the law enforcement community (top to bottom) done their jobs correctly the smile on Peterson's face would have been wiped long ago. Instead protection under the law (admitting hearsay evidence) has been dialed done a notch and I fear it will be used as a boost careers at the expense of constitutionality.
Olddeegee May 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I think Peterson's a real POS, but this is trial by the media. Let the courts do their work.
Billy Leon May 06, 2012 at 07:18 AM
There sure is a lot of smoke around Drew, but not much of a fire. So far most of the evidence presented to the public has been circumstantial. In my gut I believe he is guilty, I just hope the trial evidence bears that out. I am waiting on the actual trial before I condemn the man though.
Ashley Bennett May 06, 2012 at 01:40 PM
Joel Brodsky breaches attorney client confidentiality all the time but his buddy at the ARDC Lia Bkack protects him and others like attorneys Adam Stern and Cynthua Farenga. Just check out the Sykes Case 2009 p 4585. Here we have attorneys acting under the color of office openingky murdering a 93 year old woman under an alleged guardianship and Joel Brodsky under oath admitted to working with them (and protected by the ARDC) to keep a former client - Gloria Jean Sykes- from seeing her mother Mary G. Sykes. Brodsky after he withdrew attempted to file an in camera statement claiming Gloria was bi-polar and mentally I'll and he wrote and filed motions in her name to protect an opposing council Peter Schmidel-- again after he had withdrawn. Then Brodsky refused to return Glorua's files so she could continue to litigate. What I'm saying here is Petersons team has no right to cry violations of the professional codes of ethics when lead attorney Brodsky violates every cherished attorney client confidentiality rule --- but then he's protected by ARDC lawyer Lea Black. Whether or not Mr. Peterson is guilty or innocent is not the point: his attorney Joel Brodsky is unethical and should be disbarred. He's a liar and will distriy any persons life who gets in his way even if it means watching the slow murder of a 93 year woman under a guardianship .

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