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Drew Petersen challenges his former attorney in bid for new trial

Published: Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 9:00 a.m. CDT
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(File Photo)
Drew Peterson, convicted last fall of first-degree murder in the 2004 bathtub drowning of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, is taking one more chance at winning a new trial before his scheduled sentencing Wednesday.

(MCT) — CHICAGO — Drew Peterson’s longtime lead attorney could be on the witness stand Tuesday defending his decision-making and legal skills as the Petersen’s attorneys argue that their client deserves a new trial.

Peterson, convicted last fall of first-degree murder in the 2004 bathtub drowning of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, is taking one more chance at winning a new trial before his scheduled sentencing Wednesday.

He remains the sole suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. Prosecutors believe Peterson killed her and have said they will ask the judge to consider that when sentencing him. They may also bring charges against Peterson, who they’ve labeled a “thug,” in her presumed death.

But before Peterson is sentenced, his lawyers will argue that last summer’s trial was so flawed that he deserves a new one.

Besides the prospect of former Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky being questioned by his defense team nemesis Steve Greenberg, the hearing is expected to include testimony from a retired judge, Brodsky’s former law partner, a Peterson murder trial observer, a law professor and perhaps even Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

Prosecutors have filed a motion seeking to bar defense lawyers from calling Glasgow, saying Peterson’s lawyers have not specified why his testimony is necessary.

Peterson’s defense team is alleging that Brodsky’s legal leadership — including calling a witness whose testimony several jurors said convinced them Peterson was guilty — amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel, which can be grounds for a new trial.

Peterson’s defense team also will allege that Brodsky had a conflict of interest that left him more concerned about getting national media exposure than protecting his client’s interests.

Brodsky said he isn’t worried about testifying, whether prosecutors or the defense team call him.

“I’m not concerned at all. Everything I’ve done is aboveboard and the right thing to do,” he said. “I just wish they (the defense team) were focusing more on their client and not on some personal vendetta.”

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