Hearsay evidence requires that jurors judge the credibility of a witness who testifies about what another person said, and hope that witness didn't put his or her own spin on what was allegedly said.

“It's dangerous,” he said.




11: 55 a.m. State's theory called laughable

Defense attorney Joe Lopez derided the state's theory as laughable.

“'Oh, excuse me, Kathleen. Can you fall in the bathtub so I can strangle you and hit you in the back of the head,'“ Lopez said. “The state has no evidence.”

“You don't have to like Sgt. Peterson at all. You know what you have to like? That flag. You have to like America. You have to like the Constitution...You have to like the principles that we live by in this country.”




11:53 a.m. Trial is like football, Lopez says 

Defense attorney Joe Lopez likened a trial to a football game, in which there are rules both teams have to play by, and he got in an early dig at the state.

“And you know, the state violated the rules a couple of times — the judge gave you cautionary instructions, and things like that happen sometimes.”




11:50 a.m. 'Sgt. Peterson is presumed innocent' 

Defense attorney Joe Lopez started out softly, saying how jury service is unique, throwing people from diverse backgrounds together who sometimes form lasting friendships as a result of their service.

He then turned to the merits of the U.S. criminal justice system.

“It's the only place in the world, were you have the people decide your fate,” he said. “You took an oath -- it's like being in the Army. You violate your oath, it's like going AWOL.”

Lopez reminded jurors that they took an oath to hold the state to the standard of beyond reasonable doubt, to not hold it against the defendant for not testifying, and to follow the instructions of the court as they deliberate.

“As we sit here today, and you're listening to my mumbo jumbo, you have to have this little voice in your head reminding you that Sgt. (Drew) Peterson is presumed innocent.”




11:45 a.m. Defense begins its closing argument