Judge to Allow Some Stacy Peterson Hearsay

Meanwhile, judge urges prosecution to turn over autopsy tape

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC
    Drew Peterson Trial Moves Forward |
    Despite the search for his fourth wife, the trial of Drew Peterson in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, was decided not to be delayed. The trial will begin July 8.

    The judge overseeing the murder trial of Drew Peterson has agreed to allow a suburban pastor to testify about a conversation he had with Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy.

    His testimony is part of “Drew’s Law,” a ruling that allows some hearsay evidence to be presented at the trial, the Chicago Tribune reports.

    The pastor, Neil Schori, will testify that Stacy Peterson, who has been missing since October 2007, told him that she provided a false alibi for her husband around the weekend when his third wife, Kathleen Savio, disappeared. But that’s all. Judge Stephen White won’t allow testimony about details of the night in question, when Drew allegedly broke into the home of Savio and held a knife to her throat.

    Peterson is accused of killing Savio, but not Stacy Peterson, though he remains a suspect in her death as well. 

    Investigators originally labeled Savio’s death an accident. But subsequent autopsies helped rule her death a murder.

    At least one of those autopsies has become a bone of contention in the trial.

    Judge White says if a videotape of an autopsy on the body of Peterson's third wife isn't turned over to defense attorneys he may not allow the famous pathologist who conducted it to testify at Peterson's murder trial next month.

    On Thursday, prosecutors told Judge White about the videotape, explaining it was made surreptitiously by television news producer Steph during Dr. Michael Baden's 2007 autopsy of Kathleen Savio Watts – and aired on Greta van Susteren’s Fox News show. The autopsy was conducted for Savio's family.

    Not allowing Baden to testify could be significant because in February he testified that he believed Savio's death was a homicide and not an accident.

    Two other pathologists testified. One agreed with Baden and the other backed the original finding that Savio's death was accidental.