Witness: Drew said he could kill her, make it look like an accident

The judge in the Drew Peterson trial denied a defense request to strike the testimony of another prosecution witness Wednesday morning. 

The defense again called to strike the testimony off Bolingbrook Police Lieutenant James Coughlin, claiming the state did not fully disclose the inconsistent statements made by Coughlin at the hearsay hearing and FBI report.

Couglin testified Tuesday that he bumped into Peterson at the courthouse during his divorce from his third wife Kathleen Savio.

He said Peterson told him, "My life would be easier if she was dead."

Coughlin says he told prosecutors that the FBI report on that conversation was not accurate. But the defense says they were never told that, so the testimony should be tossed out.

Judge Edward Burmila denied the defense request, but added that if the defense calls the FBI agent who wrote the report, he will grant a continuance for defense to reach the agent.

Retired state police investigator Patrick Collins was the first witness on the stand Wedensday. Collins interviewed Drew and Stacy Peterson about Kathleen Savio's death.

He worked the scene of Savio's death with former state police investigator Robert Deel in 2004.  Collins testified during a 2010 hearing that Deel told him Savio`s death was an accident.
Collins did not collect forensic evidence, interview Savio's relatives, or secure the home where her body was found.

After interviewing Drew Peterson at the Bolingbrook police station, Collins set up an interview with Stacy at the Peterson home.   When he arrived Drew Peterson took them to the basement.  On the way down Peterson asked Collins if he could sit in on the interview as a professional courtesy because Stacy was really "shaken."

Collins testified that during the interview Stacy became visibly upset and shaken.  Collins said Drew Peterson sat very close to Stacy, and when she could not answer a question about what she made for breakfast the Sunday morning of February 29, Drew Peterson leaned over and answered for her.  Collins said Drew went on to list the items, such as bacon.

In cross examination, Peterson's defense attorneys continue to use previous sworn testimony by prosecution witnesses to discredit them.  

After Collins testified that Peterson explained to him during an interview that he could benefit financially from Savio's death with the value of their home, attorney Joel Brodsky read from a transcript from a 2010 hearing where Collins answered the same question, "He never said what he would gain, only that the house was worth $300,000."

Another hearsay statement was then introduced to the jury when prosecutors called Kristin Anderson to the stand. 

Anderson lived downstairs from Kathy Savio, she testified that Kathy told her that Drew said he could kill her and make it look like an accident.

This is a hearsay statement that the previous judge Stephen White ruled was unreliable.  Judge Burmila has previously said he would rule on these on a case by case basis. 

Judge Burmila became frustrated and told Prosecutor Griffin that Judge White has already ruled on the hearsay statements: "You are telling me now that I can ignore all that." He reminded her that prosecutors asked for the hearsay hearing in the first place: "Who makes the decision on whether the wall is purple."

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow then stood up in the courtroom and assisted a member of his team in arguing for the hearsay statement. A usually mild-mannered Glasgow could not contain his anger and yelled loudly at the judge.  Glasgow stated that the appellate court would have to be "morons" if the case was sent back automatically banning all statements under common law, Glasgow screamed: "It's you! Not the rulings of Judge White that determines whether Kristin Anderson should take the stand."

As prosecutors began to probe about a certain conversation Kristin Anderson had with Kathleen Savio while living with her in October of 2003, Anderson broke down in tears and the judge removed the jury from the courtroom.

The witness stepped into the hall where she could be heard sobbing.
When Anderson returned she testified that she once had a conversation with Kathleen Savio in her upstairs bedroom where Kathleen confided in her a troubling incident she had with Drew Peterson.

"She told me prior to her moving in her home, Drew once broke into her house dressed in a S.W.A.T. uniform, held a knife to her throat and said 'I could kill you and make it look like an accident'" Anderson testified.

The defense then accused Kristin Anderson of not believing Savio because she didn't take steps to protect her. They questioned why she didn't call police or a woman's shelter, "You did nothing, did you?"

Anderson replied by saying: "I was a good friend."

Defense attorney Joe Lopez asked Anderson, "Did you feel guilty about her death?" because she had moved out of the home.

Anderson said, "No," and Lopez responded, "Because your life is more important than hers, correct?"