Savio's Friend: Peterson Said He Could Kill Her, Make it Look Like Accident
Statements by now retired Judge Stephen White now allowed.
Updated 7:15 p.m.
After breaking down on the witness stand, Anderson testified that Peterson broke into Savio's house dressed in a SWAT uniform, held a knife to her throat and told her he could kill her and make it look like an accident, the Tribune reported.
Savio also kept a knife in her bed, Anderson testified.
Updated 5:45 p.m.
Witness Kristin Anderson, whose testimony was allowed under Judge Burmila's recent, shocking ruling, took the stand but could not get her story out because she broke down in tears. There is a break now while she composes herself.
Updated 4:05 p.m.
In a surprise ruling, Judge Burmila is allowing the hearsay statements
previously barred by now retired Judge Stephen White.
The appellate court had cleared the way for the statements to be used as
evidence, but Burmila wanted prosecutors to convince why he should
overrule White's decision.
Burmila criticized State's Attorney James Glasgow and his assistants for
failing to make their case, but then suddenly veered in the other
direction and denied a defense motion to keep the statements out.
Updated 2:29 p.m.
Patrick Collins is still on the stand. It's not clear what Brodsky's been
trying to get him to say for the last hour.
Updated 1:05 p.m.
The foster mother of Stacy Peterson's sister Cassandra Cales took aim at the Illinois State Police for the way they investigated Kathleen Savio's death.
"It appeared to be very incompetent, said Pam Bosco, who has acted as a spokeswoman for Stacy's family since the young mother vanished in October 2007.
The state police named Drew Peterson as the only suspect in their investigation of Stacy's disappearance but have yet to charge him with harming her.
The state police took more than five years to charge Peterson with murdering Savio. For most of that time they insisted she perished in a freak bathtub accident.
During a break in Peterson's murder trial, which Bosco has attended each day, she lashed out at the investigators who decided Savio's death was an accident in the first place.
"He was relying on someone he thought had more experience," Bosco said of retired state police Sgt. Patrick Collins, who was on the stand this morning.
Collins testified that he leaned on crime scene investigator's Robert Deel's supposed knowledge during the initial probe. Deel, who testified Tuesday, said he still believes Savio's death was an accident.
"It's hard to admit he made such a dramatic mistake at that crime scene," Bosco said of Deel.
Judge Edward Burmila has put tight restrictions on any mention of Stacy's name during the murder trial, but the jury still heard about her this morning as they were told about Peterson sitting in on her interrogation after Savio was found dead.
"It's like (she is) shoved under the rug," Bosco said of Stacy. "It's like she's the white elephant in the courtroom."
Bosco also wondered if things would have been different if the state police spoke to Stacy alone.
"I think she would have been less intimidated," Bosco said, noting Stacy would have been able to ask for protection.
"To have him sitting beside her was insane," she said. "It was the worst possible thing they could do."
Updated 12:45 p.m.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky attempted to bolster retired state police Sgt. Patrick Collins' credentials as an experienced criminal investigator by repeatedly asking him if he handled vehicular homicides.
Collins said he did "assist" and by directing traffic around crash scenes, but could not recall doing any actual investigating. During his opening statement, Brodsky told the jury Collins was a seasoned investigator and specifically pointed to his work on vehicular homicides.
While Collins was on the stand, he told how Peterson assured him that he and Savio were getting along well at the time of her death.
Peterson also claimed he did not stand to benefit much financially from Savio's death, Collins said. He testified that Peterson told him he had joint custody of the house Savio was living in. He said the house was worth $300,000, according to Collins.
Updated 11:15 a.m.
Drew had an arm around Stacy and a hand on her leg, Collins said. He also said Peterson at one point jumped in and answered a question for Stacy.
Stacy became upset and started crying, Collins said. As she grew increasingly upset, the interview got closer to ending, he said.
Collins said he never before and never again allowed two witnesses or a witness and a suspect to remain together during questioning. Collins said he did not question Stacy again.
Collins said he was told by a supervisor not to question Peterson's children until they saw how the investigation went. The children were not interviewed.
Collins had asked Peterson if Peterson would gain financially from Savio's death. Peterson said they shared Savio's home, valued at $300,000.
Judge Edward Burmila ruled that prosecutors committed a discovery violation by failing to disclose Bolingbrook Police Officer James Coughlin disputed the FBI account of his courthouse meeting with Drew Peterson. Burmila is still allowing Coughlin's testimony to stand.
Bolingbrook police Lt. James Coughlin was called to tell about a conversation he and another Bolingbrook officer had with Peterson in a Will County Courthouse corridor just weeks before Savio turned up dead.
Coughlin said he and Officer Richard Treece were standing by the courthouse elevators when Peterson came down the hall with his divorce attorney, Alexander Beck, and Savio's attorney, Harry Smith, only a few feet behind.
The two lawyers were laughing, Coughlin said, and Treece told Peterson, "They look happy."
"That's because they're getting all my money," Coughlin said Peterson replied.
Peterson then said, "My life would be easier if she was just dead or died," according to Coughlin.
Coughlin tried to tell this to state police investigators when they were at his department in 2004 but they did not question him about it or put his statement in a report, he said.
After Stacy disappeared, the FBI made a report on Coughlin's statement but apparently bungled all of his story, he said, relating that the lawyers were "laughing hysterically" inside a courtroom.
Coughlin said he informed the state's attorney's office about the discrepancies in the FBI report two years ago. Now Peterson's attorneys are trying to have all of Coughlin's testimony thrown out since prosecutors failed to disclose that he informed them of the differences.
READ MORE ON BOLINGBROOK PATCH:
- CSY Bother? Crime Scene Tech In Peterson Case Saw No Point In Collecting Evidence
- Kathleen Savio's Sister Testifies Peterson Told Savio He Would Kill Her
- Patch Editor Appears on WGN to Discuss Drew Peterson Case
- Drew Peterson Murder Trial: Weekend Wrap-Up
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