The names to know in the Drew Peterson trial
BY JON SEIDEL Sun-Times Media email@example.com July 20, 2012 4:42PM
Drew Peterson is led into the Will County Courthouse in May 2009 to be arraigned on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 bathtub drowning of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. | AP FILE PHOTO
Judge Edward Burmila: A former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. He was the Will County state’s attorney from 1988 until 1992, when he lost his bid for re-election to James Glasgow, the current state’s attorney. He represented clients facing the most serious criminal charges as a defense attorney until 2003, when he became an associate judge. He took over the Drew Peterson case in May at the end of its long appeal process. Peterson’s last judge, Stephen White, retired in 2010.
Updated: August 23, 2012 6:03AM
◆ Drew Peterson: Former Bolingbrook cop. Media sensation. Accused of killing his third wife. Peterson’s life hasn’t been the same since his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007. That’s when prosecutors started asking questions about the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, previously ruled an accident. Peterson fed national media interest with wisecracks and bizarre behavior. He arrested and was indicted in Savio’s murder in May 2009, and he has been held at the Will County Jail ever since.
◆ Kathleen Savio: Drew Peterson’s third wife and his alleged murder victim. They had two children together but became embroiled in a bitter divorce after she learned her husband was cheating. She was found dead in a dry bathtub in her Bolingbrook home in March 2004. Authorities initially ruled her death an accident — they said she slipped, fell and drowned, and they say water from the bathtub leaked through the seal while she lay there. But prosecutors had her body exhumed after Stacy Peterson disappeared in 2007. Her body was autopsied for a second time and her death was ruled a homicide.
◆ Stacy Peterson: The former Stacy Cales met Drew Peterson while working as a clerk at a Bolingbrook hotel. She was 17. He was 47 and married to Kathleen Savio. They married in 2003 and had two children together, but Stacy mysteriously vanished on Oct. 28, 2007, the day she was supposed to go to her brother’s house to paint. She hasn’t been seen since and is presumed dead. Police have said Drew Peterson is the prime suspect in her disappearance.
◆ Judge Edward Burmila: A former prosecutor and criminal defense attorney. He was Will County’s state’s attorney’s from 1988 until 1992, when he lost his bid for re-election to James Glasgow, the current state’s attorney. He has represented clients facing the most serious of criminal charges as a defense attorney and became an associate judge in 2003. He took over the Drew Peterson case in May at the end of its long appeal process. Peterson’s last judge, Stephen White, retired in 2010. Burmila is a graduate of DePaul University College of Law.
◆ Joel Brodsky: The brash, aggressive leader of Drew Peterson’s defense team is a lifelong Chicagoan who rarely avoids TV cameras. He has tried felony and misdemeanor criminal cases and represented clients in state and federal courts. He graduated from DePaul University College of Law.
◆ Joseph “The Shark” Lopez: He’s the fashionable, quick-witted lawyer who represented Frank Calabrese Sr. in the Family Secrets mob trial of 2007. He has been practicing law since the early 1980s and has represented clients in dozens of murder trials. He’s expected to give the defense team’s closing arguments. He graduated from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
◆ Steven Greenberg: Greenberg claims an “unequaled record of acquittals” during his more than 25 years as a criminal defense attorney in state and federal courts, and he’s a regular guest on the cable news networks expected to cover the Peterson trial. He’s a graduate of Northern Illinois University College of Law.
◆ Darryl Goldberg: A Chicago-based lawyer who promises clients “zealous representation” for major crimes, including drug, conspiracy, murder, white-collar and sex crimes. He’s a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
◆ Ralph Meczyk: Lawyer for Anthony Doyle, another defendant in the Family Secrets mob trial of 2007. He has tried more than 150 cases in state and federal courts and had been certified by the Illinois Supreme Court to defend clients facing the death penalty. He also has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and is a graduate of the Chicago-Kent College of Law.
◆ Lisa Lopez: The wife of Joseph Lopez was licensed to practice law in Illinois in 2010 but already has experience with high-profile cases, having helped out at the 2007 Family Secrets trial. She’s the second vice president of the Women’s Criminal Defense Bar Association. She’s a graduate of John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
◆ Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow: Glasgow is serving his fourth term as Will County’s elected state’s attorney. He succeeded Burmila in the office in 1992, served until 2000 and returned in 2004. He has prosecuted felony criminal cases ranging from retail theft to murder, secured three death-penalty convictions and leads the prosecution of Drew Peterson. He’s a graduate of Northern Illinois College of Law. He has been practicing law since 1981.
◆ Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Patton: Glasgow’s criminal division chief. She directs more than 50 assistant state’s attorneys who prosecute roughly 3,000 new felony cases and more than 4,000 misdemeanor cases each year. In one notable prosecution, Patton secured a conviction and an eight-year prison sentence against a local fire chief and his wife who stole more than $100,000 from the accounts of an elderly woman they had befriended. She’s a graduate of Valparaiso University Law School.
◆ Assistant State’s Attorney John Connor: Connor spearheaded Glasgow’s grand-jury investigation into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and the murder of Kathleen Savio. He has been a prosecutor for the past 14 years and helped launch the state’s attorney’s Major Crimes Prosecution Unit and its Computer Crimes Prosecution Unit, specializing in criminal cases that involve digital evidence. He’s a graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law.
◆ Assistant State’s Attorney Chris Koch: Koch joined the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office in 2003, and he has prosecuted a broad range of felonies including murders and many complex financial crimes. He helped Patton secure her conviction against the local fire chief, and he helped start Glasgow’s Financial Crimes Prosecution Unit, handling complicated cases of financial exploitation, theft, identity theft and loan fraud. He’s a graduate of John Marshall Law School.