Continual coverage of the trial of Drew Peterson for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
2:40 p.m. Prosecution rests; closings onTuesday
Prosecutors have rested their case and Judge Edward Burmila said closing arguments will be Tuesday, after the holiday weekend.
Attorneys on Friday will hammer out instructions for the jury before it deliberates.
2 p.m. Prosecutors bring back pathologist
Prosecutors re-called forensic pathologist Dr. Mary Case, a specialist in neuropathology, to the stand. They are seeking to rebut a defense witness who testified Kathleen Savio could have suffered a diffuse brain injury that would have left no signs at autopsy.
Case testified that a diffuse axonal injury could not have happened in Savio's case.
"I disagree because we do not see diffuse axonal injury outside of very significant trauma — motor vehicle accidents, falls greater than 15 to 20 feet," she said.
Defense attorney Darryl Goldberg is questioning Case about her fees, which are more than $8,500. Case said she charges $350 an hour to review government cases and $650 an hour in other cases.
12:15 p.m. Pathologisttestified for O.J., Burge
As he wrapped up his cross examination, defense attorney Ralph Meczyk tried to tie pathologist Michael Baden to both O.J. Simpson and disgraced former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.
Meczyk testified as a defense witness in both cases.
"And Jon Burge was accused of torturing innocent victims," Meczyk said, talking loudly over the repeated objections of prosecutors.
"Mr. Meczyk, stop," Judge Edward Burmila said.
"I have nothing further," Meczyk said.
Baden was excused as a witness and the trial recessed for lunch until 1:15 p.m.
11:30 a.m. Judge inquires about 'Girls Gone Wild'
During cross-examination, pathologistMichael Baden said he was assisted at Kathleen Savio's autopsy by Steph Watts, who at the time was a producer for Fox News' Greta Van Susteren show.
"At the request of the family, I was doing a private autopsy at the request of the family. The family asked that Steph Watts, who was a producer for Fox, be present," Baden said.
"He does have training as one of the producers for 'Girls Gone Wild?'" Meczyk asked.
"I have no knowledge of that," Baden said.
"You were also aware that Mr. Watts tried to peddle this tape to 'Girls Gone Wild?'" Meczyk said.
"This is the first time I'm hearing that," Baden said. "Obviously that would be totally improper if that were done."
The prosecution then objected, and during a discussion outside the presence of the jury, prosecutors argued that while Watts did have a telephone number for "Girls Gone Wild," there was no evidence he called them to peddle the Savio autopsy tape.
Judge Edward Burmila said he was unclear about what the program was about.
"Earlier in the trial, I admitted my ignorance about what 'chirping' was, and I'm not sure that was a good thing," he said. "Now I think it's a very good thing to expose my ignorance of what 'Girls Gone Wild' is."
The judge's comments prompted a roar of laughter in the courtroom. He later sustained the state's objection.
11 a.m. Other doctors missed diaphragm injuries
On cross examination, forensic pathologistMichael Baden acknowledged he was the first to notice what he believed were injuries to Kathleen Savio's diaphragm, despite the fact that two prior forensic pathologists, Dr. Bryan Mitchell and Dr. Larry Blum, made no mention of the injuries in their autopsy reports.
"I did research on the diaphragm. I spend more time on the diaphragm - particularly as they relate to lung and heart disease - then other pathologists. So I may have looked longer at it."
Baden said he considered the other doctors to be skilled pathologists and he did not think it a "big deal" that they missed the hemorraghing to the diaphragm.
10:15 a.m. Pathologist disputes defense findings
Forensic pathologist Michael Baden countered testimony from defense forensic expert Vincent DiMaio, who said there was no injury to Kathleen Savio's diaphragm.
Baden said there was clear bruising to the right side of Savio's diaphragm and that such hemorrhaging could be caused by a strong blow to the body, "or it could be caused by a bear hug, a very strong bear hug squeezing the body just below the rib cage."
He also disputed DiMaio's opinions that Savio's injuries were caused by a fall, saying the only way the multiple bruises to the front of her body and the cut to the back of her head could be explained by a fall would be if there were multiple falls. He said the injuries were more indicative of a struggle.
Baden said he also disagreed with the defense forensic experts regarding the abrasion on her left buttock. DiMaio and another forensic expert for the state, Jeffrey Jentzen, said the apparent injury was not an abrasion, but was dry skin often seen on deceased individuals.
But Baden said it is clear the outer layer of skin had been scraped away.
9:45 a.m. Rebuttal begins with pathologist
Forensic pathologist Michael Baden is the first witness for the state's rebuttal case.
Baden performed a private autopsy for Kathleen Savio's family in November 2007 and concluded at that time that her death was a homicide.
6:45 a.m. Rebuttal witnesses to be called
Prosecutors are expected to call rebuttal witnesses today, a day after the defense rested its case.
On Wednesday, in the latest bizarre twist in the trial, a defense attorney called a witness who testified that Peterson's fourth wife told him Peterson murdered Kathleen Savio.
The move, made hours before the defense team rested its case, overshadowed its much-anticipated final witness, Peterson's teenage son Thomas, who told jurors he never believed his father killed his mother.
Wednesday's stunning testimony came after Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky decided to call Savio's divorce attorney Harry Smith against the advice of other members of the defense team.
"It's a gift from God," State's Attorney James Glasgow was overheard saying outside the courtroom after Smith finished testifying.
Before defense attorneys called Smith to the stand, the judge warned them of the possible consequences and Peterson lawyer Steve Greenberg could be heard in the courthouse hallway urging Brodsky not to do it.
"I've filed 74 (expletive) motions to keep him out and now you're going to undo all of it," Greenberg said in a loud, exasperated voice. He later defended Brodsky's decision to reporters, saying the testimony showed Stacy Peterson would do anything to gain an advantage in a potential divorce.
Also Wednesday, 19-year-old Thomas Peterson, Drew Peterson's son with Savio, took the stand and told jurors that "I believe that my dad is innocent." The Ivy League student, who introduced himself as Thomas Drew Peterson, told jurors his father was "broken up" by his mother's death.
Brodsky called Smith to the stand in an attempt to rebut critical testimony from Stacy's pastor Neil Schori, who told jurors that Stacy confided to him that she lied to state police about Drew Peterson's alleged slaying of Savio.
A few months later, Stacy contacted Smith about divorcing her husband. She disappeared roughly four days later in October 2007. Prosecutors believe Peterson killed her but he has not been charged.
There is no physical evidence tying Peterson to Savio's drowning in her Bolingbrook bathtub, which originally was treated as an accident. So prosecutors have built a circumstantial case that relies heavily on hearsay statements such as Schori's.
Defense attorneys had fought to keep Smith from testifying as a prosecution witness. Judge Edward Burmila warned Wednesday morning that if they then called Smith, prosecutors could question him about every detail of his eight-minute conversation with Stacy.
But Brodsky nonetheless called Smith, intending to draw out testimony that Stacy had a financial motive to lie to Schori. Stacy had asked Smith if she could use her knowledge of Savio's death to wring more money out of her husband in a divorce, Smith had previously testified in a pretrial hearing.
As jurors intently took notes, Smith surprised defense attorneys by describing Stacy's query differently.
"She wanted to know if the fact that he killed Kathleen could be used against him," Smith testified, later adding that he had told Stacy to be careful and advised her she could be charged with a crime.
After Smith testified a second time that Stacy told him "Drew killed Kathleen," defense attorney Joseph Lopez called out "Joel!" and motioned Brodsky over to the defense table. Brodsky then dropped the line of questioning.
Under questioning from prosecutors, Smith testified that Stacy told him she thought Peterson was upset at her because he believed she'd told his son Thomas about his alleged murder of Savio.
Stacy also said she had so much dirt on Peterson from his police job that he wouldn't be able to do anything to her, Smith told jurors.
Peterson's voice was in the background during the call, Smith said.
"He called to her, asked her what she was doing and who she was talking to," Smith said.
Smith also testified that Stacy told him Peterson was tracking her cellphone via GPS and that she had gotten a new phone that he didn't know about.
Brodsky asked whether Smith warned Stacy to be careful because she could be charged with extortion.
"During that call, I did tell her to be careful, but it wasn't about extortion. It was concealment of a homicide," Smith replied.
Courtroom observers said calling Smith to the stand was a serious tactical error.
"Brodsky just walked backward over a cliff with Drew Peterson in his arms," said Kathleen Zellner, a prominent medical malpractice attorney who has been watching the trial.
But Brodsky defended the decision.
"We've now given a motive for Stacy to fabricate," he said outside the courtroom.
Thomas Peterson smiled at his father as he took a seat in the witness stand Wednesday afternoon. The elder Peterson leaned forward in his seat and occasionally took notes as his son testified.
"I believe that my dad is innocent," the University of Pennsylvania student. The judge struck the testimony after jurors had heard it said.
He testified that on the night his mother was found drowned, his father took him and his brother home and "told us to go to bed and said he would go and try to figure out what was going on."
Later, he and his brother were downstairs when his father called them upstairs to his room.
"He ... said that our mother had died. He was very, very shaken up about it," Thomas Peterson testified. "I'd never seen anyone so sad. Especially for someone who didn't break down with emotion at all, it was very hard to see."
Drew Peterson told the judge Wednesday that he declined to testify. Prosecutors are expected to call rebuttal witnesses Thursday.
Pamela Bosco, the spokeswoman for Stacy Peterson's family, said her heart broke for Savio as she watched Thomas Peterson vouch for his father.
"That's what the sad thing about this is," Bosco said. "This man, this coward would rather put his son on the stand to testify than testify himself."
In a courthouse elevator after testifying, Thomas Peterson declined a request to speak with reporters camped outside.
"God, no," he said softly. "I don't want any part of that."