The lawyers for convicted wife-killer Drew Peterson argued for two days that he was deprived of a fair trial by an attorney more worried about becoming a media darling than representing his client.
Now the arguing is over, and on Thursday Will County Judge Edward Burmila will decide if Peterson gets a do-over on his murder trial or will instead punch a one-way ticket to prison.
Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg finished the two day hearing with an emotional argument blaming former co-counsel Joel Brodsky for single-handedly losing Peterson's murder trial.
Greenberg said Brodsky disregarded advice from other attorneys on the defense team and insisted on calling the lawyer who represented Peterson's slain third wife, Kathleen Savio, during their divorce.
Brodsky apparently hoped to prove that Peterson's now missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, was planning to squeeze money out of Peterson before divorcing him. Instead, the divorce attorney, Harry Smith of Wheaton, repeatedly hammered home to the jury that Peterson killed Savio.
"The witness was called and he gave damning testimony," Greenberg said.
"Harry Smith's testimony was probably the most incriminating piece of evidence that was brought against Mr. Peterson, and it was brought out by the defense," Greenberg said. "There's just absolutely no reason to have called him."
Smith was the second-to-last witness called by Peterson's lawyers. Jurors later said his testimony clinched their decision to vote guilty.
After the hearing, Brodsky agreed when asked whether he thought Greenberg was making him the "scapegoat" in the losing effort. Brodsky also produced and read from email messages he claims prove that Greenberg was on board with the decision to call Smith as a witness. Greenberg said Brodsky was misrepresenting the messages and taking his words out of context.
Five witnesses testified over the course of the two day hearing, including Brodsky, Brodsky's former law partner, and a retired Cook County judge who said Brodsky may have intentionally lost the murder trial in hopes of increasing his notoriety.
The retired judge, Daniel Locallo, also said Brodsky was "prejudiced" against Peterson due to a media contract they entered into with a Florida publicist.
After the hearing, Peterson attorney Joseph "Shark" Lopez said prosecutors "had a hard time responding to some of our arguments."
Greenberg also insisted that prosecutors had no answer for his claim that Brodsky failed Peterson.
"If you put in a statement that your client committed a murder," he said, "it's ineffective."