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Expert: Will County Can Handle 2 High-Profile Murder Cases

Drew Peterson, Christopher Vaughn

Drew Peterson (left) and Christopher Vaughn are both on trial at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet. (Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images/Will County State’s Attorney’s office)

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JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Will County prosecutors are now taking on two high-profile murder cases at the same time in the same courthouse.

And as daunting a job as that may seem, a DePaul University Law professor suggests the county State’s Attorney’s Office is up to the task.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Berner reports

The Drew Peterson trial has been in progress for nearly two weeks. Now, jury selection is beginning for the case of Christopher Vaughn, the man charged with shooting and killing his wife and three children inside the family’s sport-utility vehicle in Channahon Township in 2007.

Law professor Leonard Cavise says a small county would typically be under pressure with two high-profile cases such as these. But in Will County, he says, that will not be the case.

“They’ve had a lot of high-profile cases. It’s a good-sized office, and I don’t think the two cases, in and of themselves, are going to particularly put them under pressure,” Cavise said.

Cavise adds media attention is creating extra attention.

“That is because somebody has to be available. Somebody has to be very sensitive to what the media’s needs are,” he said.

Observers also speculate that once the trials are over, a lot of people in the State’s Attorney’s office will be taking vacation time.