< Previous Page
"They won’t agonize over it," she said. "I think they will just accept it on face value. They’ll think, ‘The judge wouldn’t let it come in if it was mere water-cooler talk.’"
The reputation for tactlessness that Peterson earned during a national media blitz before his 2009 arrest could work against him now, added another Chicago attorney, Michael Helfand.
After Stacy Peterson vanished, her husband joked about organizing a "Win a Date with Drew" contest" and discussed appearing on a reality TV show about a Nevada brothel.
"If he were a more sympathetic person, jurors might say, ‘Hey, we can’t put a guy in prison on the based on" secondhand information, Helfand said. "That’d be persuasive if he wasn’t perceived as a scumbag."
Though jurors appeared to leap immediately into the hearsay evidence, it became clear later in the day that they also hadn’t resolved another critical question: Was Savio’s death even a murder?
Jurors sent another note asking for photographs of Savio’s body as it was found jammed into her bathtub. They also wanted autopsy photos, including one of Savio’s skull cut away to reveal her brain.
Prosecutor Chris Koch told jurors Tuesday it would have been impossible for Savio to suffer the wound on the back of her head and 14 bruises on the front of her body unless someone had attacked her.
"How can you get (all those wounds) in one fall?" he asked. "You can’t."
Lopez conceded that fatal slips in bathtubs are one in a million, but he insisted all the evidence suggests that’s just what happened to Savio.
"Are you trying to tell me no one has ever slipped in a bathtub before?" he asked. "That’s why they sell rubber mats with suction cups on them."
Peterson has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Savio’s death. He was charged only after Stacy Peterson disappeared and Savio’s body was exhumed and reexamined. Her death was reclassified from an accident to a murder.
Prosecutors were barred from mentioning that Stacy Peterson is presumed dead and that her husband is the lone suspect in her disappearance, although he has never been charged.
Copyright 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.