JOLIET -- The judge presiding over the Drew Peterson trial is leaving open the possibility that he could throw out hearsay statements that are at the heart of the prosecution's case against the former Bolingbrook police officer.
Before jury selection began Monday, Will County Judge Edward Burmila refused prosecutors' request to give them blanket approval to admit eight key hearsay statements. Burmila says he'll make a final ruling on the admissibility of each statement only as they come up at trial.
Prosecutors want jurors to hear from friends and relatives about statements they say Kathleen Savio made about Peterson before her body was found in 2004 in her bathtub. They also want the jury to hear statements Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, made before she disappeared three years later.
Peterson introduced himself to potential jurors as jury selection began in his long-delayed murder trial. Peterson stood to introduce himself to some 40 would-be jurors as proceedings began.
In a steady voice he said, "Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I'm Mr. Peterson."
The 58-year-old Peterson is charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. Her body was found in a dry bathtub in her home, her hair soaked with blood.
He's also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, although he has not been charged.