Jury Enters Second Day Of Deliberating Drew Peterson’s Fate
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UPDATED 09/06/12 12:54 a.m.
JOLIET, Ill. (CBS) — Jurors Thursday will resume weighing whether Is Drew Peterson a cold-blooded killer, or a victim of an overzealous prosecution.
Deliberations resumed at 9:05 a.m. Thursday at the Will County Courthouse.
The jurors were asking a question of the judge at 12:30 p.m. The content of the question was not immediately learned.
On Thursday morning, about eight people camped out at 3 a.m., seeking to make sure they got seats in the courtroom if and when the verdict is read.
They’ve never met Drew Peterson, Stacy Peterson or Kathleen Savio, but have followed the story from the beginning and believe Peterson is guilty.
Toni Quilico-Kribel came to the courthouse at 3 a.m. in the interest of “justice for Kathleen and the family.” She said even though she does not know Savio’s family, “I know what he did, and it’s all of us that are giving them support.”
While Peterson is legally innocent until proven guilty, Quilico-Kribel said: “We’re all the 13th juror, so we can decide this now. We’ve heard everything.”
Jennifer Spohn drove 45 minutes to the courthouse from Elmhurst.
“I’ve been following the case ever Stacy went missing, and my gut instinct is that Drew definitely had something to do with it,” she said.
Meanwhile, Peterson defense attorney Joel Brodsky said Thursday that a quick verdict is usually better for the defense, and in this case with all the issues, the longer it takes, the better the chance of a hung jury.
“They’re looking at all issues, kind of, at the same time, like resolving, for example, the homicide versus accident issue, before they get to the hearsay issue,” Brodsky said. “Maybe they’re going at it in order of the witnesses. Maybe they’re just going at it because if the hearsay is unreliable, why worry about anything else? It’s really hard to say.”
The jury of seven men and five women spent their first day deliberating Wednesday in Peterson’s high-profile murder trial. Deliberations began at 9:37 a.m. and ended their deliberations around 6:15 p.m. Judge Will County Judge Edward Burmila told them to avoid coverage of the case and sent them home for the night.
They asked their first question of the judge early in the 11 a.m. hour.
They requested Drew and Stacy Peterson’s phone records on the weekend Savio was killed. They also wanted transcripts of testimony from Savio divorce lawyer Harry Smith and pastor Neil Schori, who counseled Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy.
After lunch, a court reporter read a list of phone calls made by Drew Peterson to Kathleen Savio’s home and cell phones on the day she died.
Then the jurors listened to a reading of testimony by divorce attorney Harry Smith and Neil Schori, who counseled Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy.
Schori had testified about meeting with Stacy Peterson, where she told him about how Drew Peterson was missing from their home on the night that prosecutors say Savio died.
Schori said Stacy told him Drew eventually got home that night and asked her to lie to police. She also said she saw women’s clothes in the washing machine that didn’t belong to her.
Smith testified about how Stacy contacted him about getting a divorce from Drew Peterson, and told him she had information about Drew that might be used as leverage in a divorce.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports
“She wanted to know if the fact that he killed Kathy could be used against him,” Smith had testified.
Prosecutors have contended Smith’s testimony shows Stacy believed Drew actually killed Savio, but defense attorneys contend it only proves Stacy was willing to say anything to gain an advantage in their divorce.
After hearing the testimony, the jury began their deliberations again around 3:30 p.m. They were also given autopsy photographs of Savio.
“The jury is looking at all issues,” Brodsky said outside court Monday after jurors heard the transcripts. “Clearly they haven’t decided any issue. They are looking into what they believe about Stacy’s credibility.
“My guess … we’re here for the long haul.”
Before deliberations began, Burmila read 15 minutes of jury instructions to the panelists before they filed out to elect a foreman and then begin wading through five weeks of circumstantial and hearsay evidence.
He told them they should go in with the presumption that Peterson is innocent — and convict him only if they find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
If found guilty, Peterson could face 20 to 60 years in prison.
The judge reminded the jurors to disregard any testimony that the court struck down during the trial.
Peterson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in Savio’s death. If convicted, he faces a maximum 60-year prison sentence.