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)

Testimony is scheduled to resume at 1:15 p.m. after a break for lunch.


11:55 a.m. Alleged statement by Peterson barred

In a second motion, the defense tried to block testimony from Stacy Peterson's aunt, Candace Aikin, and Aikin’s friend Donna Badalamenti. They were expected to tell the jury that the defendant said that as a result of his training as a police officer, he could kill someone and make it look like an accident. Drew Peterson allegedly made the statement after Kathleen Savio’s death.

Prosecutors argued that not only could they show Peterson had the training necessary, but that his alleged statement shows he was confident he could do it.

But Judge Edward Burmila sided with the defense, saying that because the statement did not refer to Savio, it was too general and therefore too prejudicial.

 


11:50 a.m. Cop can testify about Savio statement

The jury was out of the courtroom for nearly an hour as attorneys argued over whether a Bolingbrook police officer who took a written statement from Kathleen Savio about an alleged break-in at her home by Peterson would also be able to testify about oral statements Savio made.

The officer is expected to say that Savio told her that in July 2002, Drew Peterson surprised her at her home and forced her to sit and talk with him for three hours. The officer will say Savio told her she told Peterson to just "do what he came to do," to which he responded "Where do you want it?"

When Savio said he should shoot her in the head, he said he could never kill her and then pulled out a knife before leaving.

The defense argued that the state should not be allowed to use both the written statement or the more expansive testimony from the officer, but Judge Edward Burmila ruled that the officer would be allowed to tell jurors about her conversation with Savio.


10:45 a.m. Lab's testing under scrutiny

Dr. Christopher Long admitted his lab found the base compound of aspirinin Kathleen Savio's liver in 2007 that was not found in 2004, as the defense tried to show his lab's testing was incomplete.

On redirect, Long said the reason no further testing for the compound was done in 2007 was because none was found in the tests three years earlier and because the chemical is a natural byproduct of decomposition.

"Unless they start taking aspirin while they're in the coffin, there ain't no way it's going to be there," Long said. "If it's not there in the start, it can't be there in the end."

 

10:10 a.m. Pointed questions from defense

Cross examination by defense attorney Darryl Goldberg quickly became testy as Goldberg tried to draw out testimony that the forensic pathologist has testified almost exclusively on behalf of prosecutors for most of his career.

Dr. Christopher Long repeatedly tried to explain his answers, prompting a sharp comment from the defense attorney.

"Doctor, maybe it's the way I'm asking the questions, but the answer is 'yes,' or 'no,'" Goldberg snapped, prompting an objection from prosecutors.