Criminal Procedure

Outside Lawyer Files Motion for New Murder Trial for Drew Peterson; Lead Counsel Calls It 'Insanity'


Updated: In the latest bizarre twist in a high-profile murder conviction against a former suburban Chicago police officer for the death of his third wife, a lawyer not previously involved in the case has filed a motion seeking a new trial for Drew Peterson.

Attorney John Paul Carroll said in his motion that Peterson’s lawyers did not provide him with adequate representation. It was filed Tuesday in Will County, the Southtown Star reports.

However, Carroll, who is also a former police officer, isn’t representing Peterson concerning his criminal case, says his lead trial lawyer. Attorney Joel Brodsky tells the newspaper that Carroll was brought in only for the limited purpose of advising Peterson about his pension rights. His client, Brodsky says, repeatedly confirmed that Carroll is only a consultant and described himself as “boggled” by the Naperville lawyer’s new-trial motion.

“The filing should be stricken. It’s absolute insanity,” said Brodsky of Carroll’s motion. “It’s bizarre beyond belief. It’s so unbelievable, I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless.” On Thursday, Brodsky filed a motion to strike the filing.

After Peterson was found guilty, several jurors said the testimony of Harry Smith, a divorce attorney who represented Savio before her death, weighed heavily in their verdict, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Carroll’s motion says that “Mr. Peterson did not want, suggest, agree to or authorize attorney Brodsky to call attorney Harry Smith as a witness for the defense,” which he reportedly did against the advice of other members of the defense team. And it also contends, the Tribune article reports, that Brodsky lied to Peterson about his courtroom experience, forced him to participate in pretrial publicity and, when Peterson talked of perhaps getting another lawyer, “indicated that in the event he was discharged, he would be ethically bound to publicly reveal some things that were discussed between him and Mr. Peterson.”

A hearing on the new-trial motion is set for Friday. Peterson has not yet been sentenced in the murder case and faces as much as 60 years when he is sentenced in November.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Will Lawyer for Alleged Murder Victim Testify in Drew Peterson Trial? Judge Rules on Testimony”

ABAJournal.com: “Defense Calls Slain Woman ‘Bonkers,’ Seeks Mistrial in Ex-Cop Drew Peterson’s Wife-Murder Case”

ABAJournal.com: “Divorce Lawyer Testimony in Drew Peterson Trial: 4th Wife Mulled Accusing Him of Murdering 3rd Wife”

ABAJournal.com: “Former Cop Drew Peterson Found Guilty of Murdering His Wife, Faces Up to 60 Years in Prison”

Updated Oct. 12 to link to subsequent coverage.

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