Drew Peterson trial updates: 'Life would be easier if she was dead'
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky speaking outside the Will County Courthouse earlier today as his client Drew Peterson's murder trial begins its second week. (Michael Tercha, Chicago Tribune / August 7, 2012)
5:30 p.m. Testimony done for the day
Jurors have been sent home, and testimony has concluded for the day. Court is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.
4:45 p.m. 'Life would be easier if she was dead'
Bolingbrook Police Lt James Coughlin testified he was at the Will County courthouse in February 2004, standing near the elevators with a fellow Bolingbrook officer, when he saw Drew Peterson in the hallway.
Coughlin testified that when his fellow officer commented about how Peterson's divorce attorneys, who were laughing, seemed happy, Peterson said, "That's because they're getting all of my money."
Peterson, who Coughlin said seemed irritated, then said:
"My life would be easier if she was dead - or died, I don't recall which word," Coughlin testified.
The incident stuck with him, Coughlin testifed, because Savio was found drowned in her Bolingbrook bathtub just a few weeks later.
2:50 p.m. Pathologist said Savio wasn't murdered
Robert Deel testified that Dr Bryan Mitchell, the pathologist who performed the original autopsy, told him that Kathleen Savio’s death was not a murder.
"He told me her death was not a homicide," Deel testified.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky asked Deel if Mitchell, who died two years ago, had ever wavered in his belief.
"No," Deel replied.
2:35 p.m. Investigator says he kept open mind
Under cross-examination from defense attorney Joel Brodsky, state police investigator Robert Deel testified that he kept an open mind as he checked Kathleen Savio’s home, but he saw nothing that looked like foul play.
He said there was "consensus" among the investigators that there was nothing suspicious about the death scene. The bathroom looked orderly, nothing was broken and while many items were undisturbed around the tub, there was a shampoo bottle and bar of soap inside it.
"There was even a soap bottle that was in the bathtub," Deel said. "If you’re going to move one thing, you’re going to move everything. The position of the body was consistent with where it should be… I can only say that it looked to me as if it was a normal bathroom and everything appeared as it should be."
But he said he placed bags over Savio's hands to preserve evidence in case her death was later ruled a homicide.