Judge Edward Burmila Halts Trial Abruptly After Prosecution Elicits “Low Blow” Testimony … Will Judge Grant Mistrial in the Drew Peterson Murder Trial in the Death of Kathleen Savio?
Will the murder trial of Drew Peterson in the death of Kathleen Savio be over before it has barely started? We will find out today as court was halted abruptly yesterday by Judge Burmila after the prosecution attempted to enter questionable evidence into the case that they could not prove. The Judge called it a “low blow”. Could the judge call a mistrial or will the murder case against Peterson, the former Bollingbrook police officer go forward?
After angrily upbraiding prosecutors for improperly introducing evidence, the judge presiding over the Drew Peterson murder trial abruptly halted the proceedings, sent the jury home and said he will rule Thursday on how the case will move forward.
It was the second time in as many days that the judge appeared to consider granting the defense’s request for a mistrial. Despite the seemingly made-for-TV cliffhanger, prosecutors, defense attorneys, experts and even the judge indicated that stopping now was unlikely.
Judge Edward Burmila criticized the state’s attempt to elicit testimony that prosecutors acknowledged they could not prove — that Peterson left a bullet on a neighbor’s driveway to intimidate him. Burmila called it a “low blow,” but he said he is inclined instead to strike the witness’s entire testimony, which lasted about half a day.
The judge then granted the defense’s request for a recess until Thursday to weigh legal options.
The expected ruling by Judge Edward Burmila follows several blunders by prosecutors.
A furious Burmila admonished prosecutors Wednesday after the second witness in just their second day of testimony began talking about finding a .38-caliber bullet on his driveway. Thomas Pontarelli, a former neighbor of Savio’s, hinted in his testimony that Peterson may have planted it there to intimidate him.
Prosecutors later admitted under tough questioning by the judge that there was no evidence to support the claim. And Burmila wondered aloud about whether the testimony made Peterson appear menacing in jurors’ eyes and undermined his ability to get a fair trial.