Kathleen Patton

Will County Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen Patton stands outside the Will County Courthouse after her misstep during the Drew Peterson trial that may lead Judge Edward Burmila to declare a mistrial. (Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune / August 14, 2012)

"You interjected order of protection into this case when I said don’t do that," he said. "There was only one thing I said you can’t go into and that’s exactly what you did."

Burmila said this would be the third time he would need to instruct the jury to disregard a prosecutor’s misstep and to do it a third time it may impact the state’s ability to get a fair trial.

He gave prosecutors until 3 p.m. to propose a remedy.

Patton, who apologized repeatedly and sounded shaken, offered various explainations for asking the question, including forgetting to cross it off a list of questions she’d written this morning. 

"I can’t believe I did it," she told the judge, later adding, "It’s me judge, it’s me." 

After the courtroom cleared, Patton walked to an empty courtroom nearby and stood alone, looking dejected, leaning against the jury box. 

Defense attorney Steve Greenberg asked for a mistrial with prejudice — meaning the case would be dismissed, saying prosecutors had "went right through the wall" of an order Burmila had issued two hours ago.


2:15 p.m. 'I can't hurt you'

In July 2002, Bolingbrook police officer Teresa Kernc went to Kathleen Savio’s home with another officer, who is now deceased, to take a report from Savio.

Kernc testified that she believed Savio’s two sons were living at the residence, but were at camp at the time.

"Yes, I knew who she was married to. She was married to the defendant," Kernc said from the witness stand.

The interview with Savio took place in the living room, Kernc said.

"Well, I asked her to tell me why she had called. And she proceeded to tell the reason. She said that on July 5th, she had taken her two sons to day camp in the morning and gone to the market, and when she returned from the market, she entered her home and returned upstairs to collect her laundry — she was going to do laundry. As she came down the stairs, she saw the defendant dressed in his SWAT uniform and black gloves coming from the living room into the foyer.

"He pushed her down on the stairs, and when she tried to rise, he pushed her down again. He told her she was a mean bitch, she wouldn’t speak to him when he called, wouldn’t speak to her when he brought the boys over, and he was going to speak to her now. He spent the next three and a half hours going through their life, trying to get her to say things were her fault.

"He asked if she was afraid of him or scared, and she said yes she was. She said that she got tired of sitting there on that stairs and she told him, ‘Go or do what you came to do — kill me.’ And she said he said, ‘Where do you want it?’ And she said in the head. And he took his knife out and told her to turn her head, and she did and then waited and then he said, ‘I can’t hurt you.’

"He got up at some point and looked outside…He looked out the window. She said that he was very tired and upset that day and, um, he asked her are you going to call the Bolingbrook police?"


1:45 p.m. Former cop, current mayor takes stand

The trial resumed this afternoon with the second witness of the day, former Bolingbrook police officer Teresa Kernc, who retired as a lietenant in 2005. She is the mayor of the Village of Diamond, about 60 miles southwest of Chicago.

She took a police report from Kathleen Savio after Drew Peterson allegedly threatened Savio with a knife.


12:05 p.m. Lunch break