A judge agreed Wednesday to reschedule the start of former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson's murder trial for July 8, but made it clear this would be the final delay to the proceedings.
Circuit Judge Stephen White reminded attorneys that the trial, delayed from June 14, had initially been set for August last year.
"It's been continued and continued on your motion," White told Peterson's lead defense attorney Joel Brodsky during a hearing at the Will County Courthouse.
Peterson has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson also has been named a suspect, but isn't charged, in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Peterson denies any involvement in her disappearance.
White had called more than 240 potential jurors to the courtroom months ago and told attorneys on both sides that the group had been admonished to avoid all media coverage of the case for long enough.
Brodsky argued that defense attorneys needed extra time because they had recently learned prosecutors planned to call three new experts to testify, including a pathologist.
Brodsky said the legal team has changed over recent months, including the departure of some attorneys and the addition of others. He said the new team needs time to analyze evidence, including technical scientific findings.
Brodsky originally asked for a delay until Aug. 23.
After voicing his objection to the judge's order that the trial begin July 8, Brodsky told reporters he thought the judge's refusal to delay the trial gave the defense strong grounds for appeal if Peterson was convicted.
"It's a constitutional issue, the Sixth Amendment right to counsel," Brodsky said.
Joe Lopez, one of Peterson's new attorneys, said he expects the trial to last two to three weeks. Both Lopez and Brodsky said no decision has been made on whether Peterson will testify.