The Drews and Drew Nots of Peterson's Trial

Judge says venue change ruling will come Oct. 2

By Phil Rogers
|  Friday, Aug 14, 2009  |  Updated 7:30 PM CDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Legal Shocker:  Drew's Jury Selection Begins

NBC

Drew Peterson never shies away from media attention.

advertisement
Photos and Videos

Legal Shocker: Drew's Jury Selection Begins

Months before a trial actually starts, potential jurors are told to avoid all media coverage.
More Photos and Videos

"Good day folks, how are you?"

That's how Drew Peterson greeted his potential jurors as he arrived to court, from the jail, shackled, wearing a gray pinstriped suit.

Whatta charmer, that guy.

But potential jurors in Peterson's murder trial are likely to have several long and charmless weeks ahead of them. 

In a highly unusual move, Will County Judge Stephen White said he'll rule on changing the trial venue on Oct. 2., and earlier in the day admonished potential jurors to not read or watch any news about the case, even though a trial could still be many months, possibly even a year away. Peterson stands accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

"I have to do everything I can to protect the jury pool from publicity," the judge said, explaining the unusual move of assembling potential jurors months before a potential trial. 
 
Avoiding Peterson news could be a full time endeavor. The Today Show did a phone interview with Peterson from jail a few months back and his story has captivated the nation. The man knows how to work the press, and the public. 
 
As the proceedings began, White attempted to bar reporters from the courtroom. But when the assembled press protested that such a move would be illegal, and even prosecutors and defense attorneys pointed out the potential pitfalls of such a ruling, the judge relented and agreed to allow three pool reporters to remain present.
 
White told the potential jurors that news stories they might read or watch might not be true. He instructed them not to research the case on the Internet or discuss it with anyone, even family members.

"That was a very highly unusual procedure.  I've never heard of anything even close to it occuring so far in advance of an actual trial,"  attorney Joel Brodsky said.

 
The judge advised the pool he had no plans to sequester Peterson's jury, and had no intention of holding a trial, which would last many months.

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
Get Our Weather App
Stay ahead of the storm with the NBC... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out