Prosecution prepares for rebuttal in Drew Peterson trial - FOX 32 News Chicago

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Peterson trial: Jury sent home, deliberation starts 9 am Wednesday

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A cold-blooded murderer or the victim of a campaign of rumors and lies meant to convict him?

Those are the two sides of Drew Peterson that jurors heard about during closing arguments Tuesday. But, jurors will not start deliberating the evidence and Peterson's fate until Wednesday morning.

Prosecutor Chris Koch pointed right at Drew Peterson and told jurors it is clear he killed Kathleen Savio. He then recounted all the evidence the state says proves it. Forensic experts said Savio was murdered and the 14 different recent injuries on her body could not come from a single fall in the tub.

Koch told jurors the motive and intent was clear: Peterson did not want Savio to get his pension or the kids and he didn't want to pay child support in the divorce.

Koch pointed to hearsay testimony from Savio's sisters and friends who said Drew threatened to kill her and make it look like an accident. He recounted the hearsay statements from Stacy Peterson who said Drew coached her to lie to police about what happened the night Savio was murdered and how she wanted to squeeze him for money in her divorce by threatening to go to police with that information.

The two sides boiled the case down to this: prosecutors repeatedly told jurors to use their common sense when evaluating all the evidence which they say points clearly to Drew Peterson as a killer.

"The truth is the truth and the truth will come out, and the truth will bring justice for Kathleen," said Savio's sister, Susan. "It doesn't take a brain scientist to figure out who did it and why."

In his closing argument, defense attorney Joe Lopez told jurors "following your common sense doesn't mean ignoring the evidence" and he said their experts said Savio's injuries and death were the result of a slip and fall accident in her bathtub. "Experts can't agree on anything, that's not proof beyond a reasonable doubt… that is doubt" Lopez argued, saying jurors had a duty.

"Its' their patriotic duty to follow the law and the law demands this case be thrown out because the state hasn't proved it beyond a reasonable doubt, that's what their patriotic duty is," Lopez said.

Lopez suggested the state's case was so full of holes it was like "swiss cheese." But prosecutor James Glasgow suggested the evidence was like a bundle of sticks, which together could not be broken.

"All this evidence ties together, with common sense you can't help but see it, I know the jury's been seeing the same thing," Pam Bosco, Stacy Peterson's family spokesperson, stated.

In Glasgow's final words to jurors he argued "When you put all the evidence together, it's solid it's real and it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Drew Peterson murdered Kathleen Savio in cold blood."

Wednesday, the Drew Peterson jury will start deliberating the same question that juries consider every day: whether it's a murder trial or a DUI.

Did the prosecution prove the defendant is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?

This case isn't so simple because the jury is being asked to rule on the death of Peterson's third wife, while ignoring the highly-publicized disappearance of wife number four.

The twelve jurors deciding Drew Peterson's fate came from an original pool of about 200 potential jurors. They were all told three years ago to stop watching TV reports and reading newspaper stories about the Peterson case.

So, when the trial began five weeks ago, they probably knew less about the case than the general public. Now, they know a lot more.

For the jurors, seven men and five women, the first task was choosing a foreperson. After that, just about anything goes. Some juries start by taking take an unofficial straw poll to see where they stand. Others choose to go through the testimony, one witness after another, deciding who was credible and who wasn't.

Typically, leaders surface in the jury room -- individual jurors who take it upon themselves to lead undecided jurors toward their own point of view.

Here, the jury includes a college student who is studying broadcasting, a divorced man who works for the postal service, a research technician who likes watching the TV show "Criminal Minds," and a divorced woman who reads mystery novels and true crime books.

One of the keys to these deliberations will probably be whether the jurors follow the judge's instructions, ignoring several prosecution comments that they heard in open court and were told to dismiss. It's not easy to erase those words once you've heard them.


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