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Drew Peterson - In Session facebook updates 8/17/12 Prosecution PIO Chuck Pelkie just gave us the proposed rundown on today’s witnesses. First up will be Scott Rossetto, Stacy Peterson’s friend...he’ll be questioned by James Glawgow. The jurors enter the courtroom, and the prosecution calls its first witness: Dr. Gene Neri (questioned by prosecutor Connor). He is a neurologist, and goes over his educational and professional background. “Did you have an opportunity to treat Kathleen Savio Peterson?” “Yes” (between 1999 and 2002). “She came in, she was 35, and she had been referred by a pain specialist; she was having pains in her neck, shoulders, and some numbness and tingling in the arms, hands ,and feet.” He treated her for “cervical vertigo . . . it’s a feeling like you have the whirlies . . . the origin is the neck; it’s usually related to the neck muscles.” “What was it that you were doing to treat her?” “If it develops as a result of stress, as it was in her case, you have to get to the root of the problem. In her case, she was not sleeping . . . she was horribly sleep-deprived . . . your pulse rises, and your hands sweat . . . and commonly the muscles in your neck get very tight. It’s a very common place for your fight-or-flight chemicals to go.” “When you have a lot of stress and both sides are tight, you feel very unsteady. That’s what we call cervical vertigo.” “Have you treated other patients with cervical vertigo?” “Hundreds.” “The condition that Kathleen Savio had, would that have caused her experience any sort of unsteadiness, such as falling down?” “Although she felt unsteady, the chances of falling are actually less than the common person . . . you’re very cautious, and you hang onto things.” “Can you please explain how you treated the stress that Kathleen Savio was experiencing?” “If you don’t treat the underlying problem, getting the serotonin and the adrenaline balanced, it just keeps coming back. So I gave her lorazepam, an antianxiety drug . . . with that, I knew she’d make an adequate amount of serotonin. And then I gave her Zoloft, which helps her store the serotonin she’d already made.” The attorneys approach the bench for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. The judge then excuses the jurors, and leaves the bench. We are apparently in a brief recess. Judge Burmila is back on the bench. He then calls the attorneys to a sidebar. The sidebar ends. Then, once again, the judge leaves the bench. The judge returns to the bench (but the jury is not present). The witness says he’s testified many times, and has always been qualified as a witness. But before he can be qualified as an expert in this case, he is challenged by defense attorney Darryl Goldberg, who asks him about a case in Texas. “That was the one where the court said that you failed to describe the applicable standards of care . . . does that ring a bell?” “No.” “Are you saying you have absolutely no recollection of the court not allowing you to testify in that case as an expert witness?” “No.” “In this particular case, the last time you treated Ms. Savio was in 2002?” “Right.” “Two years before her passing?” “Yes.” “You understand each patient presents to you a unique set of conditions or variables?” “Yes.” “There’s a myriad of conditions that each individual person can come in and present to you?” “Correct.” Objection/Sustained. “Cervical vertigo is not a common diagnosis . . . there’s not a lot of research or literature to support that diagnosis?” Objection/Sustained. The witness is asked to leave the courtroom. Once he’s gone, the discussion continues. Connor says that he wants to tender the witness as an expert in neurology and psychiatry, which Goldberg insists is a
surprise to the defense. “I think it’s completely improper for discovery purposes.” Judge Burmila then questions Connor about Dr. Neri’s general expertise. Connor: “He’s been treating patients since 1979, and been testifying twice a year . . . in the case that counsel brought up, the court had an issue with his report, and whether what he’d been asked to opine on had been adequately discussed.” Judge: “The issue of him testifying as a treating physician, there’s no question about that . . . but when you give somebody an opinion that just says, ‘I agree with everybody else,’ that’s inadequate.” Connor: “The only opinions he’ll be testifying about are what he said at the grand jury or the hearsay hearing. Counsel has had that for years now.” Judge: “I believe if you’re going to offer somebody as an expert, you have to advise the other side what his expert opinion is, different from a treating physician . . . there’s no question the doctor is qualified; he did treat Miss Savio . . . why he arrived at his diagnosis is certainly an area he can testify to . . . as to his expertise to testify about cervical vertigo in a general sense, and to say that because other people wouldn’t fall down, Ms. Savio wouldn’t fall down, I don’t think those two things necessarily follow one another . . . in this particular instance, I’m not going to allow him to testify as an expert in that area, but he can testify as to anything he did for Miss Savio.” The judge then sends for the witness and the jury. The witness and the jurors are now back in the courtroom. The witness then identifies “a drawing I made for Kathleen Savio at the time of her first visit. The drawing is then projected for the jury. “This is a little messy . . . basically, what you see here is muscle, specifically the muscle of the neck and shoulder areas. It shows a pulling . . . the next thing is, why is the muscle so tight? It’s adrenaline, your fight or flight chemical . . . in her case, it was going to the neck, primarily, causing this spasm. And that just keeps coming. Adrenaline is the body’s answer to stress . . . she certainly was depressed, and certainly was anxious. It was causing the adrenaline to come out, and the adrenaline was causing the muscles to be tight . . . causing this cervical vertigo.” “In your brain, you need a balance between adrenaline, your fight or flight chemical, and serotonin, your feel good chemical. The problem is that serotonin is only made, and the only time to make it is deep sleep, stages three and four. If you don’t make it, the level falls. If it falls, the adrenaline rises . . . which is why if you’re short of sleep you tend to be a little anxious. She was very anxious. The imbalance of those two chemicals causes you to be depressed . . . it’s like a vice, and it compresses the nerves that come out of the neck, which is what was causing the numbness and tingling.” He prescribed Lorazepam for Savio’s condition. “You have to get the serotonin level up . . . the way to help her sleep is to add Lorazepam at bedtime. And then in the morning, after you make it, we add a serotonin saving agent, like Zoloft . . . now you ‘re not pouring gas on this fire anymore.” “Did you notice that she was having any difficulties with the Zoloft?” “Absolutely none . . . I started her on 50 mgs, and I recall at one point she went up to 100 . . . sometimes she’d drop it down to 75, and sometimes back to 50. Some psychiatrists, I’ve seen them go up to 200, 250 mgs a day.” “She was attempting to cut her dosage in your treatment of her?” “Always.” “Did you notice any ill effects from the Lorazepam?” “Absolutely not.” “Did she make progress?’ “She made a lot of progress. The muscles started to loosen, and all the tingling and numbness went away. The neck tension was improved, the headaches were improved, the cervical vertigo was improved. Everything was improved.” “In your opinion, did any of her symptoms indicate that she was predisposed to slip or fall in a bathtub?” “No.” “How long does it take for Lorazepam or Zoloft to get out of a patient’s system?” “Lorazepam is widely known as a 7-1/2 hour drug . . . Zoloft is about the same; it’s a once-a-day drug . . . it’s just one Lorazepam dose at bedtime carries you through the night; one Zoloft in the morning carries you through the day.” That concludes the direct examination of Dr. Neri. Attorney Darryl Goldberg begins his cross-examination of Dr. Neri: “When was the last time that you
saw Miss Savio?” “February 6 of 2002.” “You know that she passed in 2004?” “Yes.” “So it was two years before her death since you last saw her?” “Yes.” “So you have no idea of her medical condition at the time of her death?” “Yes.” “She’d want to cut back on her medications?” “Right.” “So despite your expert medical suggestions, she’d do whatever she wanted to do?” Objection/Overruled. “I wouldn’t exactly say that . . . she came in and told me that she’d done it, that she was drowsy.” “So when you told this jury she didn’t have any side effects, that wasn’t true?” “It was true.” “One of the drugs you gave her was Lorazepam?” ‘Right.” “And that was one of the drugs she’d fluctuate of her own free will?” “Depending on how she was sleeping . . . that’s commonly done.” “In Lorazepam, one of the side effects is drowsiness?” “That’s the point.” “And dizziness?” “If you take it in the daytime, yes.” “And Zoloft . . . if you discontinue Zoloft, one of the side effects is dizziness?” “It depends on how you do it . . . it can be.” “So, again, you don’t know if Miss Savio was taking two pills of Zoloft before she died, and then went totally to zero?” “I don’t know that” The witness repeats that Savio was “careful” when she was taking her medications.” “She would take caution and care in everything she did?” “I would think so.” “But you really can’t say?” “I can say within a reasonable amount of certainty say that she would be cautious.” “Well, you know that she fell down the stairs in 1999?” Objection. The parties approach for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. “You know that in October, 1999, Miss Savio fell down the stairs?” “I’m not sure.” The witness is then shown a document. “This is a document you reviewed at the request of the prosecution in this case?” ‘I don’t recall seeing it.” The witness is then shown another document. “That you do recognize, right?” “Yes.” “It’s a letter you prepared on your letterhead?” “Right.” “And it addresses different documentation you reviewed, and on here is Sure Care records?” “OK.” “Do you now believe that you would have reviewed that?” “Yes.” “Does that ring a bell that you learned that Miss Savio fell down the stairs in October of 1999?” “Yes.” “You’d agree that if Miss Savio was going through a divorce, she’d be stressed?” “I would.” “And if she was having a little lover’s quarrel with her boyfriend, that might cause her to be stressed?” “Yes.” “April 5, 1999 was the first time that you saw Miss Peterson?” “Right.” “She was referred to you by a pain specialist?” “Yes.” “You noted that she had an arthritic condition?” “Yes . . . she had numbness in her arms and legs.” “And she had a history of ovarian cysts?” “Yes.” “She had dizzy spells?” “Yes.” “Vertigo?” “Yes.” “Trouble swallowing?” “Yes.” “She was very unsteady in her gait?” “That’s what she told me.” “She was very irritable, slightly depressed in 1999?” “Yes.” “And she felt generally weak and numb in all four extremities?’ “Yes.” “She had a strong family history of diabetes and cholesterol?” “Yes.” “And her sleep was described as just horrible?” “Yes.” “She felt unsteady, that’s what she told you?” “Yes.” “Those can be signs of a neurological or neuro-degenerative disease?” “That’s right.” “And you would have no idea what was going on in her life from the time you last saw her in 2002 until her death in 2004?” “Right.” “We do evaluations, to rule things out. That includes a neurological examination. Those tests were normal.” “In 1999?” “Yes.” “But I’m talking about 2004 . . . those symptoms can come back?” “They could . . . anything can happen.” “She was a 40 year old female . . . there are diseases that could pop up around then?” “Like what?” “Well, M.S.” “That shows up in the late teens and early twenties . . . I did a complete exam on her; she didn’t have Multiple Sclerosis. But generally, that shows up much earlier.” So you say . . .” Objection/Sustained. “Would you agree that M.S. affects twice as many females as males?” “Yes.” “Let’s talk about Zoloft again for a moment . . . would you agree it can cause sleepiness, or affect your ability to think clearly?” “In high doses, maybe . . . that’s why you adjust the dosage, depending on the patient.” “And you’re
not supposed to drink alcohol with Zoloft?” “What are you supposed to take alcohol with it? You’re not supposed to take it with an aspirin. But people do it.” “You know that females bruise more easily than males?” “Perhaps . . . I don’t know if it’s really accepted or not . . . I think you might be getting on thin ice.” “Well, I’m not a doctor.” “I’m not a bruise expert.” “Most of the side effects that are in all of the [prescription] warning labels, most people don’t have those?” “Right.” “Miss Savio also saw an internist and some other professionals?” “Yes.” “She told you she took Lipitor, and it caused a lot of side effects?” “Yes.” “And she was also taking Yasmin, a birth control product?” “Yes . . . I know there’s an increased risk of lawsuits.” “Well, have you heard about the many lawsuits across the country . . .” Objection/Sustained. The witness is asked about the fact that Savio may have been taking fat blasters, or herbal supplements. “Those could theoretically interfere with any prescription medication given to Ms. Savio by you or any other doctor?” “Yes.” “Do you agree that 10 to 20 percent of all patients who take Zoloft suffer nervous system side effects?” “There are a lot of factors involved.” Objection. The prosecution asks for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. “One of the things you learned during your treatment of Miss Savio was she saw another neurologist…and he noted, and you noted, too, that she would occasionally drop objects?” “Yes . . . people drop things all the time.” “But she told the doctor that she drops objects . . . that could have something to do with her coordination? She could just be clumsy?” “Yes.” “You say she was careful, and was not predisposed to fall?” “Correct.” “Predisposition to fall is not a medical condition?” “Correct.” “And someone who’s in a bathtub without an anti-slip mechanism could just slip and fall?” “Could.” The witness is asked about a drug that has been recalled because of cardio-vascular side effects. “The FDA specifically required the manufacturers to put a few more warnings on their labels?” “Yes.” Objection/Overruled. “There are many cardio-vascular risks to taking Celebrex?” “Well, there can’t have been too many, or they would have been taken off the market.” “You also knew that Miss Savio was taking Xanax?” “Yes.” “Another anti-anxiety medication?” ‘Yes.” And it can have significant side effects, like drowsiness?” “If you take too much of it.” “But it could slow reaction times, like if you were to accidentally fall the ability to catch yourself?” “Potentially.” The witness confirms that Savio suffered from irritable bowel syndrome, due to her increased adrenaline. “That adrenaline affects every organ of your body, and could have devastating effects?” “In a worse case scenario, yes.” That concludes the cross-examination of Dr. Neri, and the parties go to a sidebar. Prosecutor Connor begins his redirect. The witness insists that Savio did not have M.S., and that there’s no connection between that disease and her condition. “During the time that you were prescribing drugs for Kathleen Savio, did you note any inability of her being able to tolerate those drugs?” “She just got better every time.” “The last time you saw her, you actually increased her Zoloft dosage to 100 mgs?” “Yes.” “You have no idea about Miss Savio’s condition unless she tells you?” “Right.” “You said your personality doesn’t change?” “Right.” “But depending on who you talk to, your personality may be different?” Objection/Overruled. “Not if they want to be treated.” “So they may not present their true personality?” “I suppose . . . we’re pretty used to sorting that out . . . personality doesn’t change. If they want something, they may attempt to get it . . . your normal personality is what you return to when your chemicals are balanced again.”
You learned during your course of Miss Savio’s treatment that she had a history of irregular heartbeat?’ “She had a murmur that was not significant . . . she had palpitations.” “Would you agree she told a doctor that she had a history of an irregular heartbeat?:” “Yes, I would.” “One of the historical tests that have been done to diagnose muscular sclerosis is to put the patient in a hot bath?” “That’s how we used to do it.” “And you hear of a much higher percentage of people with multiple sclerosis drowning in a bathtub?” “Not like that.” “Whether someone had multiple sclerosis or not, when you take a hot bath, you vassal dilate?” Objection/Sustained. “That bath test has never been discredited, has it?” “No.” That concludes the recross, and the witness is excused. The jurors have been excused from the courtroom. Judge: “There’s some issue with the next witness?” The attorneys approach for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. Brodsky addresses the judge, complains that the people in the gallery have occasionally given a response to testimony, such as a gasp or laughter. Judge: “There are some occasions that take place during a trial where something is said that’s humorous . . . but yesterday, there was an audible gasp from the audience in front of the jury, in response to a question from Mr. Meczyk that they obviously disapproved of. The same thing happened to a lesser extent today . . . in the future, if there should be any such reactions, the Court will have to take what it believes is appropriate action to make sure the jury is free of that sort of influence. If that involves removing individuals from the courtroom, that’s a sanction that I’ll take into consideration . . I’ll be forced to take some remedies that everybody may not be happy with.” Attorney Greenberg now addresses the upcoming testimony of prosecution witness Scott Rossetto. “I think Judge White found the events [Rossetto relates] to be unreliable . . . we’ve got different statements being attributed to Stacy, and different places the statement allegedly took place at, at different times . . . I think the unreliability finding has to be given more respect, more weight than some of the other statements . . . this is so unreliable that I don’t think it can pass the due process analysis.” Prosecutor Glasgow responds: “[Pastor] Neil Schori does not know this individual, nor does Mr. Rossetto know Mr. Schori . . . [but] [Rossetto’s statement] is almost identical to the statement that one day later Mr. Schori comes forward with.” Judge: “Well, as I said previously in regards to the argument of a due process claim, it doesn’t appear from a legal perspective to me to be unreliable on its face . . . so the motion to prevent the witness [Scott Rossetto] from testifying is denied.” The judge says that Rossetto will be able to testify Stacy Peterson told him that Drew Peterson told her to lie. Judge Burmila: “I excluded the alibi itself. But I said they could have admitted before the jury that he asked her to lie.” Brodsky argues against this testimony, claiming that it’s a violation of marital privilege. Prosecutor Colleen Griffin responds, says that the State’s recollection of the judge’s previous rulings are very different from those of the defense. Judge: “My recollection mirrors that of Ms. Griffin’s . . . the statement is admissible.” It’s too late to start Rossetto’s testimony at this time. So the judge decides to call the lunch recess at this time. But before he leaves the bench, he calls the attorneys to a sidebar. The sidebar ends, and Judge Burmila leaves the bench. The trial is in recess until 1:15 CT/2:15 ET.
Judge Burmila is back on the bench. Brodsky has a question about some discovery regarding “Dr. Case,” who is apparently an upcoming prosecution witness. He complains that there is a “presentation” that Dr. Case was part of that the State has never turned over. The prosecution responds, and the issue appears to be resolved. The judge sends for the jury. The State calls its next witness: Scott Rossetto (questioned by prosecutor Glasgow). He now lives in Germany, and is 40 years old. He has a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and is a captain in the U.S. Army. “In 2001, did you have occasion to meet Stacy Cales?” “I did.” He then identifies a photograph of Stacy Cales Peterson. “How did you first meet her?” “My brother was seeing her.” “Keith is your twin brother?” “Yes . . . identical twins.” “How long did your brother date her?” “Just a few months.” “How many times did you have conversations with her?” Objection/Sustained. “How many times did you see her during the time your brother was dating her?” “Approximately seven or eight times.” His brother joined the military in 2001 (“two days before Sept. 11”). In October, 2007, he received a phone call from Stacy. “Her last name had become Peterson.” “Do you know to whom she had become married?” “Drew Peterson.” In October, 2007, he had a meal with Stacy at a restaurant. Then, about two weeks later, on Oct. 25, they met again at his house. Objection. The attorneys approach for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. The witness and the jurors are excused from the courtroom. Greenberg: “I raised the issue of when this conversation took place . . . who am I now going to call if I have to impeach this? . . . they’re prepping their witnesses, and they told us before lunch that it was the 22nd; all of a sudden, he’s on the stand and he’s saying it’s the 25th.” Glasgow: “That was a misunderstanding.” Judge: “Did your office advise them that the conversation took place on the 22nd?” Glasgow: “I did not do that, Your Honor.” Judge: “But previous to that, Mr. Connor, you advised them that the conversation took place on the 22nd?” Connor acknowledges that he mistakenly told the defense just before lunch that the date was Oct. 22nd.” The judge says that the defense can call Connor as its impeachment witness, but that would end his role as a prosecutor in this case. Glasgow instead offers a stipulation, but the defense isn’t sure it wants to agree. The judge grills Connor on what exactly it was that was said to the defense. Judge to Glasgow: “I’m not saying you did it personally. But your office is responsible . . . you’re vouching for the credibility of this witness . . . are you going to stipulate that you advised the defense of false information about this witness? I didn’t create this situation. It’s as if the sand is shifting on a momentary basis.” The judge/prosecutor exchange continues. Judge: “Mr. Greenberg, are you prepared to go ahead with cross-examining this witness at this time?” Greenberg: “Judge, is there someone else they call?” Judge: “Well, to some degree, it’s unfair for me to tell the State to produce another witness . . . is there a witness?” Glasgow: “Jennifer Schoon.” “Judge: “We’ll take a minute here, to see if we can sort this out.” The judge leaves the bench, and the trial is in a brief recess. Judge Burmila is back on the bench. Attorney Greenberg: “Our opinion is that this is obviously unreliable, and it should be barred as testimony. It’s all over the place.” Prosecutor Koch responds: “First of all, the testimony previously provided by Mr. Rossetto has always been that the statement was made in October.” Judge: “Does it say in the police report that the conversation took place at the apartment?” Koch: “No, it doesn’t.” Judge: “Does that police report say that it happened at Denny’s?” Koch: “It does.” Judge: “And you sent them an e-mail that said that the witness would testify consistent with that police report?” Koch: “It’s our position . . .” Judge: “STOP! I’m not asking you to spin it, or
put your interpretation on it . . .” Koch: “It says that he will testify consistent with the police report . . . this particular e-mail was sent due to the continuing duty to disclose . . . the e-mail was [sent] Aug. 15 . . . basically, it comes down to the word ‘report,’ which should have been ‘statement.’” Judge: “I know the spin you want to put on it . . .” Glasgow joins the discussion, blaming the confusion on a Scribner’s error. Greenberg and Glasgow continue to argue the issue. Connor and Brodsky then join the fray. Ultimately, Judge Burmila makes his ruling: “I think we’ve addressed the issue of the facial unreliability of this statement on more than one occasion. Judge White heard this testimony, and determined that this testimony was unreliable . . . now, the Court has been informed that at the time he testified they were in possession of information that the date was wrong . . . even without knowing that, Judge White found his testimony to be unreliable. Now, the State told the defense that this individual’s testimony would be consistent with the police report of Oct. 30. The police report is crystal clear there were two different conversations, one at Denny’s and one at the residence. The State’s Attorney now informs the Court that there was a scrivener’s error . . . that’s not the way discovery works in a criminal case. In addition to that, the date changed twice . . . a second change within one hour or so of him approaching the witness stand. Taking all these things into account . . . the discovery violation, the misinformation . . . it might seem that you let him come up here and testify to whatever the current version is, and then allow him to be impeached. But it does not work that way . . . I now find his testimony to raise to the level of a due process violation . . . and this witness is barred.” The jurors are now present, and the State calls its next witness: Joseph Steadman (questioned by prosecutor Connor). “I was a senior insurance claim adjustor for Old Republic Life Insurance in Chicago” (now retired). “Did you work on a claim for the death of a woman named Kathleen Savio?” “Yes.” The witness says he would normally get a phone call, and then he would immediately create a memo about the claim. “Would you recognize two of those memos if they were shown to you today?” “Yes.” He is shown a document. “This was my first contact with Mr. Peterson, via telephone.” ‘Did you ever meet this individual in person?” “Someone I spoke to on the phone.” “You created this entire memo?” “Yes, Sir.” “Can you read this sentence?” “’I asked Drew Peterson what she had died from. And he said her death was drug-related, and she had been found dead in her bathtub.’” The memo is dated March 16, 2004 (the conversation took place the day before, on March 15, 2004). “The phone call came in after 3:00 pm; we went home at 4:00. I wrote it the next day.” The witness is then shown another document, and then asked to read from it. “’Drew Peterson advised me that he is a Bolingbrook, IL police officer, and he was working the night of her death and was the first person on the scene and found her body. He was not allowed to investigate her death, since he is her ex-husband, and if she was murdered he would be one of the suspects.’” This report is dated April 21, 2004. “Is there anything in that memo that indicates that the defendant stated to you that her death was drug-related again?” Objection/Overruled. “No, during this phone conversation, we didn’t discuss the cause of her death.” The witness is handed another document. “There are highlighted phone numbers on that page . . . do you recognize them?” The witness points out the main phone number for Old Republic Life Insurance. “The last call was 15:44 . . . 3:44.” “The defendant was not the only individual that you spoke to?” “Yes, Sir.” “Who was the first individual who used the word ‘murder’?” Objection/Sustained. That ends the direct examination of this witness. Brodsky begins his cross. “You’re retired now, right?” “Not by choice . . . but yes.” “Was Mr. Peterson the first person to call you about this claim?” “No.” “Was he the second person?” “Yes, I believe he
was.” “Who was the first?” “Mrs. Doman.” “Anna Doman?” “Yes.” “When did she call you?” Objection. The prosecution asks for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. “When you first spoke to Mr. Peterson, you asked him about his opinion about what was the cause of death of Kathy Peterson?” “Yes.” “He wasn’t claiming to be the beneficiary?” “No, for his two sons . . . he advised me that he was on the scene and discovered her body . . . he told me she was found in a bathtub.” “And he thought it might be drug-related?” “Yes, Sir.” “He didn’t tell you she had drowned, or anything?” “No, I believe he used the word ‘drowned’ . . . I advised him that Mrs. Doman . . .” Objection/Sustained. “You next talked to him on April 21st?” “Could I see it again, please? . . . yes, Sir . . . let me read this a second, please . . . I received the written proofs of loss, and I had questions. So I called him.” Objection/Overruled. “One of the questions you asked him was whether the case was still under investigation?” “Yes.” ‘And he told you it was?” “Yes.” ‘Did you ask him if he was involved in the investigation?” “No, because in a previous conversation he told me he could not be involved in the investigation.” “Because he was related to the victim?” “Yes, Sir . . . I asked him who was investigating the case, and he gave me the name and number of that state trooper . . . he gave me the name of Sgt. Patrick Collins, and Trooper Bryan Falat . . . their phone number, and their extensions.” “Was he helpful?” “Oh, yes, he was always a gentleman on the phone.” That ends the cross-examination of this witness. There is no redirect, and so the witness is excused. Judge Burmila then calls a ten minute recess, and leaves the bench. Court is in recess until 3:35 CT/4:35 ET. Judge Burmila is back on the bench. He sends for the jurors. The jurors are back in the courtroom, and the State calls its next witness: Jennifer Schoon (questioned by prosecutor Connor). She pronounces her last name “Shone.” ‘Did you for a time date Stephen Peterson?” “Yes.” “And who was his father?” “Drew Peterson.” She identifies the defendant in the courtroom. “Did you live in the same residence for a time frame?” “Yes, for just under two years.” She is then asked about February 29, 2004, when Drew left to take his younger sons back to Savio’s. “Did he return with the children?” “Yes.” “Had that ever happened before?” “Not that I’m aware of.” The next night, Drew is the one who told her about Kathleen’s death. “Very close to the time of her death . . . either that night or the next morning . . . [he told her]that she had drowned in the bathtub and hit her head. And there was no water in the bathtub, because there was a leak in the tub . . . I was told there anti-depressants on the counter.” “Who told you that?” “Drew Peterson did.” “Did he indicate she had possibly overdosed on anti-depressants?” “Yes, that she had possibly taken them.” “There was blood in the tub . . . did he indicate where that may have come from?” “Yes, from her head . . . she hit her head.” “Did the defendant ask for you assistance after Kathleen Savio’s death in relation to a computer that he had?” Objection. The attorneys approach for a sidebar. The sidebar ends. “When you lived at the residence, what part did you live in?” “In the basement.” “Could you hear everything that went on upstairs?” “ No.” “Were you ever awakened by sounds that were happening upstairs?” “No.” That concludes the direct examination of this witness. Brodsky begins his cross. The witness says she lived in the Peterson basement from 2003 to 2005. “You were living with Stephen Peterson in the basement of the house?” “Yes.” “Who else lived in the house?” “Drew, Stacy, me, and Steve.” “Thomas and Kristopher were there for visitation?” “Yes.” “And at some point, Stacy had a baby, and the baby was living there as well?” “Yes.” “Can you
describe the basement?” “There was a bedroom and a living area. And a full bathroom.” She repeats that Drew tried to return the sons to Kathy on the evening of Feb. 29, but then brought them back. “I know that there were phone calls made. I don’t know how many.” “You do know that after he came home with the kids he did make phone calls?” “Yes.” “And those phone calls were to try to locate Kathy, to return the children, to find out where she was?” “Yes.” “Drew was annoyed that Kathy wasn’t there to take the children?” “Yes.” “Your room in the basement was right below what part of the house?” “The dining room area.” “Wasn’t it also below where the washer and dryer were?” “In the bedroom closet, yes.” “So you could hear the washer and dryer running pretty well from downstairs, couldn’t you?” “Not that I remember.” “You don’t recall being able to hear the washer and dryer running when you were downstairs?” “No.” The witness is asked about her 2010 testimony, in which she indicated she could hear the washer and dryer running. “I don’t being able to hear the washer and dryer running all the time.” “But sometimes you could hear it?” “Yes.” “And you could hear people walking and talking in the kitchen?” “Sometimes, maybe, if doors were open.” “In order to find out if somebody was down there, what would they have to do?” “Go downstairs.” “Did Mr. Drew Peterson do that often?” “No.” “And you’re not aware of him doing that the weekend he brought the kids home?” “That weekend? Not that I’m aware of.” “The next morning, Mr. Peterson told you that Kathy was found dead in the bathtub, and there was no water in the bathtub?” “Yes.” “He also told you she might have overdosed on anti-depressants?” “Yes . . . it could have been his opinion; I don’t know.” Once again, the witness is asked about her February 3, 2010 hearsay hearing testimony. In that testimony, the witness said the information about the anti-depressants was “his opinion.” “So when Mr. Peterson told you that Kathleen might have overdosed, he was only giving you his opinion?” “Yes.” The jurors are now gone. The judge calls the attorneys to a sidebar. The sidebar ends. The judge says that he would like to once again address the issue of the possible testimony of prosecution witness Jeff Pachter. Attorney Greenberg argues that Pachter’s testimony should not be allowed, due to a failure to comply. Prosecutor Koch says that he believes the State has now complied with all requirements pertaining to this witness. Judge: “What can I rely on other than your late notice? There has to be something more than that . . . to allow for this late filing.” The judge/attorney exchange continues regarding the proposed testimony of witness Jeff Pachter. Judge: “I already made a finding that this is a bad act.” Greenberg: “It wasn’t until they got caught on their bad acts mistake on opening statement that they went out and searched for another way to get this evidence in . . . it’s not good cause; it’s just not.” Prosecutor Griffin then offers some case law that she believes supports the State’s position. Greenberg: “We were into opening statement when we had our first issue. Now they argue that they had a different reason for admissibility . . . you said that it was a bad act . . . for them to now come up and argue that they have some other theory is revisionist theory. They never argued that before; they never mentioned that before. Frankly, I’m offended . . . they messed up. There’s a reason they’re supposed to give us notice.” Judge Burmila and attorney Greenberg then have a lengthy and spirited exchange.
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