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Monday, June 02, 2008

Attorney: Drew deserves immunity on weapons

May 31, 2008By JOE HOSEY

Drew Peterson is above the law, at least the ones saying he can't carry a short-barreled assault rifle, his attorney said.

Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, asked the court Friday to dismiss the felony gun charge facing his client on the grounds that as a former cop, Peterson is exempt from such restrictions.

"This definitely gives Drew immunity under federal law," Brodsky said, citing a statute that allows police to carry concealed weapons.

Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the state's attorney's office, disputed Brodsky's claim, saying the federal law has "no bearing whatsoever on the charge filed against Drew Walter Peterson."

Pelkie was also dismissive of a photograph Peterson's publicist released that showed Peterson supposedly dressed in his SWAT team attire and carrying the weapon in question while receiving an autograph from movie star John Travolta. Brodsky maintains the photo proves the police department was aware Peterson was using the weapon and allowed him to do so.

"The picture of him receiving an autograph from John Travolta is irrelevant in this case," Pelkie said.

Brodsky also is attempting to subpoena police department records he says will show the department was aware Peterson was using the rifle as part of his police duties.

Peterson was arrested on the unlawful use of a weapon charge last week. State police also have named him their sole suspect in the Oct. 28 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, and are investigating the mysterious March 2004 bathtub drowning of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

The drowning was first ruled an accident but in the wake of Stacy's disappearance was determined to be a homicide.

In the first few days after Stacy vanished, state police seized 11 guns from Peterson's home and held them as evidence in their investigation, which they have classified a "potential homicide."
Prosecutors have two weeks to respond to Brodsky's motion to dismiss, as they do his motion to modify the terms of Peterson's bond. Peterson wants permission to leave the state so he can take his four children on unspecified excursions.

"This is summer vacation for Drew's children, and he wants to take them on various summer vacations," Brodsky said.

Brodsky said he has a good working relationship with prosecutors and discussed the possibility they would drop the gun charge.

"I'm hoping to sit down with the prosecutors next week and discuss this case," he said. "Hopefully I'll convince them that basically this case shouldn't move forward."

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