Drew Peterson defense asks -- again -- for mistrial in murder trial

August 2, 2012 (JOLIET, Ill.)

Peterson is charged in the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

The defense had originally asked for that mistrial on Wednesday, but the judge held off on making that decision, giving the defense time to think about another option- striking testimony from that witness. On Thursday, they reiterated their desire for a mistrial.

"They are trying to show everyone is afraid of Mr. Peterson," a defense attorney said Thursday. "What evidence do they have that he did something? ... They want everyone to think he's a bad man."

The state said they did not try to "mislead the jury" and called asking for a mistrial "absurd" on Thursday. A prosecutor said, "...State is entitled for a fair trial just like the defendant, we are asking you to deny motion for mistrial we are ready to proceed today."

Earlier Thursday, Peterson defense attorneys said they believes the prosecution is intentionally trying to get a mistrial so they can start the case over.

Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow denied that charge, saying the suggestion was "false" and anything the defense says out of court is "unprofessional."

"You have two serious motions for a mistrial in two days. That has gotten to be a world record. We will figure out what to do," said Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky.

Neighbor's testimony about locks, bullet at issue

At issue- on Wednesday former Savio neighbor Thomas Pontarelli let slip testimony the defense claimed irreparably tainted the jury. Pontarelli told the courtroom he once found a .38 caliber bullet in his driveway he believed was planted there by Peterson to intimidate him.

Earlier Pontarelli told jurors Peterson once told him not to help Savio change the locks on her doors while the couple was splitting up.

Judge Edward Burmila dismissed jurors before lunchtime Wednesday.

Savio's case was reopened after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007. Peterson is considered a suspect in Stacy's disappearance, but has not been charged. Her body has not been found.

Peterson denies any wrongdoing in either case.

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