Pathologists testify for Peterson defense: Savio's death an accident

On Tuesday, two pathologists testified for the defense in the Drew Peterson murder trial say Kathleen Savio died from an accidental fall in the bathtub.

Savio was found dead in her home in a dry bathtub in 2004.

First up was Dr. Jeffrey Jentzen. He said Savio's injuries were consistent with falling, and not from a struggle. He testified the injury to the back of her head could have been caused by a fall in the tub, even though there was no blood or strands of hair.

Next up was Dr. Vincent DiMaio. He has testified “I concluded that the death was an accident due to slipping and falling in her bathtub," he said. "She slipped under the water and she drowned.” 

DiMaio said the pattern of injuries up and down the left side of the body indicates a fall.

Although it is rare, DiMaio said there are documented cases of healthy people in their 40s who have slipped and fallen in a bathtub striking their head which resulted in death. He estimates that most cases are children, then those who have epilepsy, followed by drugs or alcohol. Savio’s toxicology was negative. DiMaio says maybe 15 percent of the group that are otherwise healthy adults slip and fall.

The prosecution believes Drew Peterson is responsible for her death.

The defense called several more witnesses on Tuesday. They're expected to call Drew Peterson's son, Thomas, to the stand on Wednesday.

"He was there that weekend. He was with his father all weekend. He lived with his mother his entire life, and he has things that he can add to this story that shows, or helps to show, his father’s innocence," said Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky.

The defense is expected to wrap up its case on Wednesday, mindful of the long, holiday weekend that's approaching.