Peterson's attorneys ask judge to delay trial

May 28, 2010

Peterson's trial is scheduled to begin on June 14. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in connection with the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Peterson's legal team is asking the judge to push back the trial date to August 23.

A judge is expected to rule on Peterson's attorneys' request sometime next week.

They say if the trial begins as scheduled, then they will not be ready because the prosecution added four new expert witnesses to the list of people they may call to testify during trial.

Surrounded by deputies and wearing a blue jail jumpsuit, Peterson was escorted into a Will County courtroom Friday morning for a motion hearing in his upcoming murder trial.

Peterson's lead attorney, Joel Brodsky, said his team needs more time to interview witnesses that prosecutors plan to call at trial.

"The state disclosed expert witnesses - hired guns - two weeks before trial," said Brodsky. "I think that once again shows that it is still scrambling to try to put together a case here."

Brodsky said the state is relying on experts because their case against Peterson is shaky.

"They don't have any real hard evidence that Drew Peterson is guilty of any wrongful act at all," said Brodsky.

Will County State's Attorney Jim Glascow told Judge Stephen White that he will be ready for trial whenever the judge wants, but White wants to make sure the case is solid in case of an appeal. As such, he said pushing back the date would be all right.

One of Peterson's new attorneys, Joe Lopez, said that most murder trials do not start on time.

"We are going to be ready, and we will be ready, and I think the judge is expecting everyone to be ready," said Lopez. "If he does grant this continuance, this case is going to be going on that day."

Peterson's attorneys were denied a motion to have Judge White removed from the case.

Both sides will return to court on Wednesday morning.

The judge says he needs additional time to see if he can reschedule other trials he is involved in to accommodate a possible delay.

Most of Friday's hearing was sealed.

Both sides discussed motions dealing with the controversial hearsay evidence that may or may not be used a trial.

The judge's ruling on that evidence will not be announced until a jury has been seated.

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