Defense Rest Case After Testimony of Son
Thomas Peterson, 19, said he has "never seen anyone so sad" as his father after his mother, Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found drowned in her dry bathtub in March 2004.
JOLIET, IL -- Updated 5:20 p.m.
Drew Peterson's lawyers rested their case after calling one of the accused wife-killer's sons to the stand.
Thomas Peterson, a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, also said his father was "very shaken up about" Savio's death.
Thomas Peterson said he "never suspected" his father killed his mother.
He also recalled bathing with his mother when he was 6 years old. He said Savio enjoyed hot baths. Sometimes she put her hair up when they bathed together, Thomas Peterson said, and sometimes she left it down.
JOLIET, IL -- Updated 3:20 p.m.
"Could we get more money out of Drew if we threatened to tell how he killed Kathleen," Smith said Stacy told him after she called to hire him to represent her when she divorced Peterson.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky repeated the damning testimony while attempting to question Smith as a hostile witness.
Smith said Stacy told him "Drew was pissed at her because he thought she told (his son) Tom he killed Kathleen. ... The information I had was Tom knew and Drew wasn't happy about it," Smith said.
Thomas Peterson is scheduled to take the witness stand later today.
He also said Stacy told him "She had too much s--- on Drew at the police department for him to do anything to her."
Brodsky and defense attorney Steve Greenberg accused Smith of lying. Greenberg called for Smith to be charged with perjury.
Brodsky claimed Stacy was lying to Smith and planning to extort Peterson with the "falsehood" of killing his wife.
Brodsky asked Smith if he warned Stacy to "be careful" that she not be charged with extortion. Smith said no, he thought Stacy was at risk of being charged with concealing a homicide."
Updated 2 p.m.
In the middle of Joel Brodsky's daily session of boasting outside the courthouse, a former friend of Drew Peterson appeared and frightened him away.
"I'm the informant who spent seven months with Drew Peterson," Paula Stark said as Brodsky and defense attorney Joseph "Shark" Lopez retreated from a bank of microphones.
Stark and her husband, Len Wawczak, say they wore wires for the Illinois State Police to record testimony. Stark said the recordings will be used as evidence if Peterson is charged in connection with the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
"I learned that Drew's a murderer," Stark said of her time with Peterson.
She also said he was cruel to his children.
"Every time they brought up their mother, he told them to shut up and go to their rooms," Stark said.
Stark also said Stacy's young son, Anthony, secretly kept a hidden picture of his mother in his room.
Stark and Wawczak were left to watch Peterson's children when he took trips out of town to appear on talk shows.
Stark said Peterson and Kathleen Savio's elder son, Thomas Peterson, deep down believes that his father killed his mother.
Thomas Peterson is scheduled to testify in his father's defense this afternoon.
Stark also said Peterson once called Thomas a "faggot" after Thomas complained about his father's cooking.
Stark also told of a letter to Santa Claus Peterson's younger son, Kristopher Peterson wrote when he was about 10.
In the letter, Kristopher asked Santa to stop his father from beating his mother and to give his mother the divorce she wanted.
"If Tom says anything positive about his father, it's all lies," Stark said.
Updated 12:45 p.m.
Prosecutors failed to turn over Illinois State Police reports of a spring interrogation of Drew Peterson's son thomas Peterson.
"It's a clear discovery violation, once again, by the state," said Judge Edward Burmila.
The interview was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, where Thomas Peterson is a student.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky asked Burmila to forbid prosecutors from using information from the report when they question Thomas Peterson. Brodsky failed to convince the judge.
The report was turned over to Drew Peterson's lawyers this morning. Burmila has called for the two state police investigators to appear in court by 5 p.m.
Updated 11:12 a.m.
Retired Illinois State Police Sgt. Patrick Collins was called back to the witness stand to once again explain his investigation of Savio's death.
Defense attorney Steve Greenberg questioned Collins and got him to admit he never actually made it all the way around Savio's house when he was checking the outside of the home.
Collins also said he was looking only for "obvious" signs of a crime that were out in plain sight.
Collins went on to explain that he did not go to great lengths to ferret out clues. He would not, for example, do anything as strenuous as check under a bed.
Updated 9:36 a.m.
Judge Edward Burmila cleared the way for Wheaton attorney Harry Smith to testify, but it remains unclear whether Drew Peterson's attorneys will call him.
Smith represented Kathleen Savio in her divorce from Peterson. He also said Peterson's next wife, Stacy Peterson, visited him four days before she mysteriously vanished in October 2007. Stacy asked him to represent him in her own divorce from Peterson, Smith said, and she asked if they could get more money out of Peterson if they threatened him with revealing that he killed Savio.
Peterson and Savio's elder son Thomas Peterson is also in the courthouse and ready to testify for the defense.
Drew Peterson's son is expected to take the stand Wednesday.
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