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Blame it on Drew Peterson, Says Killer Chris Vaughn's Lawyer

The Drew Peterson media circus prevented Vaughn from getting a fair trial, his lawyer said, and the wife-killer's attorneys didn't help things either.

First, he killed one wife, then he was named a suspect in the disappearance of another, and now Drew Peterson's very existence has mucked up Christopher Vaughn's murder trial, the Oswego man's lawyer said Monday.

Vaughn's lawyer, George Lenard, said the specter of Drew Peterson hanging over the Vaughn case is just one of the reasons his convicted quadruple-killer client needs a new trial.

Besides the problem with Peterson, whose own murder trial was taking place in the courtroom next-door to Vaughn's in August and September, Lenard claimed Vaughn's case was corrupted when prosecutors succeeded in "indoctrinating" one of the jurors. Lenard also said a prosecutor insulted him during the closing arguments and he accused the jury of "improper deliberations."

The jury took only 50 minutes to find Vaughn guilty of murdering his wife, Kimberly, 34, and three children—Blake, 8, Cassandra, 11, and Abigayle, 12. Lenard said this quick verdict following the five-and-a-half week trial was improper, especially since the jury asked no questions after retiring.

"It's very rare and it's never happened to me where the jury doesn't want to see one piece of evidence, and that's what happened here," Lenard said. "That tells me that there was something that went terribly wrong in the trial."

Vaughn was supposed to be sentenced to life in prison Monday. Lenard's lengthy argument for a new trial put that off until Tuesday—unless Judge Daniel Rozak decides Vaughn will get a new trial after all. Rozak said he will announce his ruling at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Vaughn murders rocked the Chicago region when the news first broke in June 2007. But when Vaughn's trial finally started five years later, it was completely overshadowed by the Peterson case.

Lenard pointed out that both men were charged with murdering their wives and that the two cases were linked in news reports. He also said the media circus surrounding the case, which seemed to have been encouraged by some of Peterson's lawyers, turned off jurors selected for the Vaughn trial.

Lenard went on to criticize Peterson's lawyers for their buffoonish behavior following jury selection and recalled how, during a press conference, they mocked the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

"That gave criminal defense lawyers, all of us, a black eye," Lenard said.

Lenard also complained about Assistant State's Attorney Chris Regis' closing argument, saying the prosecutor "attacked my credibility."

Lenard said Regis essentially called him a liar and labeled him and his arguments "ridiculous," "offensive," "ludicrous," "unthinkable," "silly," "unfounded," "shameful," "embarrassing," "and last but not least, dumb."

"When you get up there and say a defense attorney or a prosecutor is basically lying to the jury, that's improper," Lenard said. "That's what Mr. Regis says right out of the box."

Despiser of Obama November 28, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Maybe they will put Drew with Vaugh and Drew can rub him out.
Nancy McWilliams November 28, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I wonder if that stripper will 'wait 'for Vaughn and still be 'his girl.' They must have had true love to do what the did to that beautiful family.Now he has to sit there and hear their screams in his head for the rest of his life. Cold.
Ken November 28, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Peterson was on duty when Kathleen's body was found.
mike November 30, 2012 at 07:08 AM
I no you guys all want these criminals put the death and I understand the other problem is the good people who are honest should be treated fare to will county has some screwed up problems were in Elwood on 1 acre and a will count zoning guy told us we can't pick up dead trees in our yard our clean our property up we have a creek behind us bad it fills up and floods our house so we clean it out and burn the trees that fall in the creek and we had a little dirt poured uo against our house to keep the floods down a little it's a violation he says it's be cause will county wants our money so now we can't clean up what we bought omg this is crap Greg is the guy will county zoning I have small kids who lost there stuff to the floods it was sad never was told this house would flood like this my kids lose out will county is criminals them self we bleed to fight back were all having hard times but cleaning up is a violation now you have to have a permit to clean what is this Greg $$$$$$$ I thought we have the right to protect our house and family's this world is coming to evil hate and will be lots more murders and crime to come were pushed in to it and were fighting back good luck Greg
mike November 30, 2012 at 07:17 AM
This is horrible to our family the way people can treat us it seems nothing matters both more it's a bout the money well our family's mean lots to us even our belongings we protect were we live bad the things we love but cleaning up trees and using some dirt fir the floods come on will county deal with the criminals not the ridicules cleaning up its time to stand up and tell how we feel our we get pushed more around and will county takes our money that our family's need kill the criminals and help the family's

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