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Thursday, June 04, 2009

Now Drew Peterson's lawyers want new judge


May 30, 2009
Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporter

A week after a Will County judge refused to lower Drew Peterson's $20 million bail, defense attorneys asked Friday that Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes be removed from the case because of bias.

They also asked that Judge Daniel Rozak not be assigned to the ex-cop's high-profile murder proceedings.
The motion contends the veteran trial judges are "prejudiced against the defendant."

Defense attorney Joel Brodsky called the legal move routine in major murder cases. Peterson, 55, a retired Bolingbrook cop is charged with drowning his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Peterson has been in a Will County jail since he was arrested May 7. At a May 22 bond hearing, Policandriotes refused a defense request to slash his $20 million bail, which requires him to post $2 million to be released from custody.
During that hearing, defense attorneys contended Policandriotes had signed documents related to the Peterson-Savio divorce and asked her to consider voluntarily withdrawing from the case. She refused, saying she didn't remember having any role in the divorce case. The only thing I have found is a motion to dismiss the restraining order against Drew. Kathleen agreed and her lawyer concurred that, having filed for divorce in the meantime, the restraining order was built in to the divorce so was no longer needed on its own. Policandriotes DID sign the motion to dismiss. It was very standard procedure. I think they REALLY don't want a woman judge, with Peterson being such a prick and shameless womanizer.

Will County prosecutors filed a similar substitution request that resulted in Judge Richard Schoenstedt being removed from the case. Defense attorneys initially balked at having Policandriotes assigned to Peterson's case, but recanted and agreed to accept her.

These substitutions mean both prosecutors and defense attorneys have used up their allotted challenges, so the next judge assigned likely will end up presiding over the case. Will County Chief Judge Gerald Kinney will assign a new judge, likely at Peterson's June 17 court hearing.

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