JOLIET, IL -- Less than a week after in one of the most sensational criminal case in the state's history, axed one of the top attorneys on his legal team.
"Apparently I've been fired," said defense attorney .
"I've been discharged," Greenberg said. "I've been terminated."
Greenberg said he got a signed notice from Peterson Tuesday. He also said he received a letter from lead attorney warning him not to publicly comment about the case.
"I'm not going to comment on incompetence," Greenberg said.
Greenberg and co-counsel appeared to have Peterson's case well in hand, as Judge consistently thwarted prosecutors' attempts to get evidence and testimony before the jury.
Then, as the second-to-last witness in the defense case, Brodsky made the unfathomable decision to call Wheaton attorney to the stand.
Brodsky apparently called Smith in hopes of painting Peterson's fourth wife, , as a gold-digging blackmailer plotting to use the murder of Peterson's third wife, , as the means to more money in a divorce.
Jurors who were interviewed following the trial said it was Smith's testimony that pushed them to convict Peterson of murdering Savio.
Brodsky last week refused to say how responsible he feels for Peterson's conviction. On Tuesday he failed to return calls for comment on Greenberg's firing, on whether he instructed Peterson to sack him, or if he was jealous that Greenberg performed more ably at the trial.
A source said last week that Greenberg, Lopez and co-counsel , who is Shark Lopez's wife, argued against calling Smith to testify, but Brodsky insisted on doing so.
"They started calling him 'the captain' when he started sinking the ship," said Greenberg, who told of his hopes that Lopez might still save the case with his closing argument.
"Incredible closing," Greenberg said. "I think it could have gotten us a hung jury."
Greenberg also said the error in calling Smith to testify was compounded by the manner in which Brodsky questioned him.
"The problem is also how it was handled in court, which was ineptly," he said.
"Was it the biggest bonehead move in the history of jurisprudence?" Greenberg said. "I don't know. Was it up there?"
Lopez was staying out of the rift.
"Joel's the boss and he calls the shots, and whatever he says goes," he said. "I'm just sitting on the bench taking orders in that case."
Peterson, 58, faces up to 60 years in prison. Judge Burmila set sentencing for Nov. 26.
Greenberg won't be sitting at the defense table during the sentencing hearing. If he'd gotten his way, he said, there wouldn't even be a sentencing hearing.
"It would have been a not guilty bench trial," he said.
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