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Judge Dismisses Mistrial Motion In The Farce That Is The Drew Peterson Trial

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Aug 2, 2012 4:30PM

In case you somehow haven't heard, Drew Peterson is finally on trial. Eight years after third wife Kathleen Savio died under mysterious circumstances and five years after fourth wife Stacy Peterson disappeared, Peterson is facing a jury of his peers in the murder of Savio. The case has fulfilled every meaning of the word "sensational"—particularly the negative—and the latest developments of the case are indicative of how the entire saga has transcended farce and launched into some unknown stratosphere of the absurd. Not that this was all unexpected; the case, after all, did become an awful Lifetime movie starring Rob Lowe before the trial even began. And this latest twist nearly ruined the prosecution's case before it even got started.

After a troubled start to the trial, prosecutors got themselves into hot water with the testimony of a neighbor about a bullet Peterson allegedly left in Savio's driveway as a threat. The bad move led to a defense motion for a mistrial but just this morning, presiding judge Edward Burmila dismissed the motion and instead instructed the jurors to dismiss the disputed testimony. Both sides dodged a bullet (see what I did there?) because the trial has been delayed numerous times since Peterson's 2009 arrest for the murder, and every one is ready to get it over with.

Of course, even if the prosecution manages to present its full case without screwing up again, there's the matter of that whole hearsay law; while the idea that all hearsay testimony is inadmissible is a common misconception, it has to meet very strict guidelines and the Peterson-inspired hearsay law in Illinois seems ripe for the defense's appeal if it's used to convict. And the prosecution will use it because it's one of the closest items they have to actual evidence. If Peterson is guilty of anything, it's being an asshole. But the prosecution can't use that to convict him of murder which leaves them with an uphill battle.

As the twists and turns get weirder and the PR hyperbole coming out of both legal teams reaches new heights of awfulness, the most important points of this whole ordeal become more and more obscured: One woman is dead and another is missing and presumed dead. And maybe after we get this mess behind us, the media can go to work solving the Lisa Stebic case. And after that? Maybe, just maybe, resources will be used to pursue the Mya Lyons case or solve the murder of Jameshia Connor.