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Drew Peterson appeals conviction

Cites ineffective counsel at trial

Published: Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 6:22 p.m. CDT

(MCT) JOLIET, Ill. — Drew Peterson asked a Will County judge Friday to throw out his conviction for the murder of his third wife or grant him a new trial.

The motion cites ineffective counsel, and defense attorneys said Peterson’s former longtime lawyer Joel Brodsky could be called to testify.

Brodsky withdrew as Peterson’s lead attorney last month in the midst of infighting within the defense team. He was replaced by David Peilet.

Brodsky’s decision came after two other attorneys filed a motion accusing him of providing ineffective counsel.

Attorneys John Paul Carroll and Michelle Gonzalez accused Brodsky of lying about his courtroom prowess, inciting pretrial publicity and committing serious legal errors while defending Peterson in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

After the guilty verdict in September, several jurors were critical of Brodsky’s decision to call attorney Harry Smith as a defense witness.

Smith testified Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, asked him shortly before her October 2007 disappearance if she could get a bigger divorce settlement if she threatened to tell police about her husband’s role in Savio’s death. Brodsky called Smith to the stand against the rest of the defense team’s advice.

Brodsky defended the way he handled the case. But he also said he would stand in the way of any argument that could win Peterson an appeal.

“The guy is looking at first-degree murder and my feeling is that if Drew Peterson has 101 arguments to make I don’t want him to be able to make 100 arguments,” he said.

“I don’t want anybody to ever say that I impeded him in any way.”

©2012 the Chicago Tribune
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