Drew Peterson's lead attorney Joel Brodsky withdraws from case - FOX 32 News Chicago

Lead attorney Joel Brodsky withdraws from Peterson case

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Drew Peterson's lead attorney Joel Brodsky withdrew from the case Tuesday, saying the move was in his client's best interest.

The former Bolingbrook cop was convicted last month of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and now faces up to 60 years in prison.

The defense team was labeled "team dream" when the trial began, but as it went on, differences in strategy turned the dream into a nightmare; especially Brodsky's decision to call divorce attorney Harry Smith as a defense witness.

Peterson was convicted in September and Brodsky withdrew from the criminal case Tuesday.

"The case was stalled, it was focused on personalities, there was a fracture in the defense team, and the case was not moving forward," said Brodsky.

Brodsky said it was his decision, but he acknowledged that if Peterson plans to argue on appeal that his lawyers provided ineffective counsel, he probably would have had to step down. Veteran Chicago defense attorney David Peilet is taking Brodsky's place.

"I applaud him for what he did today," said Peilet. "I think it's commendable that he did something in the best interests of Mr. Peterson."

Co-counsel Joe Lopez agrees, saying Brodsky did not get the boot from Peterson or the other defense attorneys.

"Nobody forced anybody out," explained Lopez. "I think in the best interest of the client, he thought it was in the best interest of Drew Peterson, for him to withdraw."

Brodsky says he's still on good terms with Peterson and he'll still defend him in a pending wrongful death suit.

Sentencing on the murder conviction is set for January 10th, 2013.


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