Legal experts: Drew Peterson could go free if judge declares mistrial

Legal experts: Drew Peterson could go free if judge declares mistrial

Credit: Getty Images

JOLIET, IL - JULY 31: Joel Brodsky, attorney for Drew Peterson, leaves the Will County Courthouse during a recess in Peterson's murder trial July 31, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. Opening arguments in Peterson's trial began today. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook, Illinois police sergeant is on trial for the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio. Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy Peterson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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AP

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 6:50 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 2 at 11:28 AM

CHICAGO (AP) -- Legal experts say if a judge declares a mistrial at Drew Peterson's murder trial, there's an outside chance it could result in the former suburban Chicago police officer going free.
  
Judge Edward Burmila will decide Thursday whether to grant a defense motion for a mistrial after a state witness Wednesday began talking about finding a .38-caliber bullet on his driveway. The witness believed Peterson put it there to intimidate him.
  
Peterson has pleaded not guilty in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
  
Chicago defense attorney Gal Pissetzky says Burmila could find in declaring a mistrial that prosecutors deliberately entered testimony explicitly barred before trial. Pissetzky says that would mean Peterson can't be tried again for murder in Savio's death.
  
But the lawyer says such rulings are rare.
 

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