Criminal Justice

Lead Drew Peterson Defense Lawyer Stays on Case, Calls Competing Attorneys 'Bottom Feeders'

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A court hearing Friday in suburban Chicago seemingly provided at least a temporary answer to a question that has been hotly debated in news articles lately:

Is lead defense lawyer Joel Brodsky still representing now-convicted murderer Drew Peterson? Or has Brodsky been axed, in favor of the outside lawyers who recently filed a post-trial motion on behalf of Peterson, contending that he wasn’t properly represented at trial?

After huddling for a couple of hours with his defense team from the trial, Peterson, 58, told Judge Edward Burmila that he didn’t authorize attorney John Paul Carroll to file the post-trial motion earlier this week in the Will County case, according to a CBS Chicago article that relies on courtroom reporting by WBBM and the Chicago Tribune.

But, when the judge suggested that he seek an independent opinion from yet another lawyer, Peterson reportedly asked for more time to think about this. So Carroll and his co-counsel, Michelle Gonzalez, withdrew their motion, WLS reports.

Meanwhile, Brodsky told the media “we’ve got rid of … John Paul Carroll and Michelle Gonzalez, the bottom feeders,” CBS Chicago recounts.

The schedule in the case now calls for Burmila to hear in mid-December a motion from Brodsky seeking a new trial for Peterson. A sentencing date for Peterson, who was convicted last month of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, has been rescheduled for Jan. 10, 2013. It was originally set for late November.

The battle among attorneys to determine who represents Peterson following his murder conviction left Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, who prosecuted the case, figuratively shaking his head. “In 31 years of practicing law, I’ve never experienced defense attorney theatrics of this nature,” he said.

Additional coverage: “Outside Lawyer Files Motion for New Murder Trial for Drew Peterson; Lead Counsel Calls It ‘Insanity’” “Lead Drew Peterson Lawyer Seeks Court Nix re ‘Completely Unauthorized’ Motion, Contempt for Filers”

Chicago Sun-Times: “Drew Peterson let out of jail briefly to see mother in funeral home”

Shorewood Patch: “Lawyer: Drew Peterson Putting Brodsky’s Rep Above Own Interests”

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