Last Drew Peterson Witness Called, Closing Arguments Next Week
The last two witnesses in the Drew Peterson murder trial were called Thursday, and one of them was asked about "Girls Gone Wild."
Testimony in the Drew Peterson murder trial wrapped up Thursday with a pair of doctors taking the witness stand and one of them having to answer questions about a cable television producer supposedly trying to sell an autopsy video to Girls Gone Wild.
Celebrity medical examiner Michael Baden was grilled about Fox News producer Steph Watts allegedly looking to sell footage of the autopsy performed on Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio.
"Did you know Mr. Watts tried to peddle that tape to the people who produce Girls Gone Wild?" Peterson attorney Ralph Meczyk asked Baden.
Watts was a producer at the time with Greta Van Susteren's talk show. He assisted Baden with an autopsy the doctor performed at the behest of Savio's family after her corpse was pulled from its grave following the mysterious disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, in October 2007.
Watts also shot video of the autopsy, but did not film Savio's body. The video appeared on Fox News.
Meczyk pursued the line of questioning despite pretrial testimony showing the accusation was baseless.
During that hearing, Watts accused Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky of trying to sell him a video of Peterson, 58, and his supposed fiancee, 28-year-old single mom Christina Raines, "living their lives together." Brodsky was trying to get $200,000 for the video, Watts said.
Watts didn't pay Brodsky for the video. And he said he wasn't trying to sell a tape of Savio's autopsy to Girls Gone Wild either.
In the middle of Meczyk's questions about Girls Gone Wild, Judge Edward Burmila cleared the jury from the courtroom so he could get a better grasp on the situation.
"I express my ignorance of what Girls Gone Wild is," Burmila said. "Is
this some entity?"
Defense attorney Steve Greenberg explained that Girls Gone Wild producers "go to spring break locations and get very drunk girls to do various things."
Greenberg then told the judge that during Savio's autopsy, Watts was checking voicemail messages and had a call from Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, who has done time on tax charges.
Watts was working on a show about Francis and his legal troubles, Greenberg said, and he wrote Francis' phone number on the pad he was using to jot autopsy notes.
"The testimony regarding Girls Gone Wild and any connection it has to Mr. Watts is to be ignored by you," Judge Burmila ordered the jury.
Dr. Mary Case followed Baden to the witness stand. Case was called to counter statements made by two defense witnesses, Doctor Jeffrey Jentzen and Doctor
On Friday, Greenberg will try to convince the judge to throw the case against Peterson out before it gets to the jury. Attorneys will also hash out jury instructions in the event Greenberg fails to sway Burmila.
The judge set closing arguments for Tuesday.
"It's been a grueling five weeks, and I'm extremely satisfied with the place we're at right now," said Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.
"No more gifts from God today," added Glasgow, referring to the devastating testimony of Wheaton attorney Harry Smith on Wednesday.
Brodsky made the questionable decision to call Smith to the stand, apparently in hopes of sullying Stacy's reputation by making her out to be a gold-digger plotting to blackmail Peterson.
The move blew up in Brodsky's face as the jury repeatedly heard how Stacy supposedly told Smith the Peterson killed Savio, and that Stacy came forward with the information in hopes of getting away from her husband and taking their children with her.