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updated: 7/23/2012 1:43 PM

Judge in Peterson case could throw out hearsay

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  • Drew Peterson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the drowning death of his former wife Kathleen Savio who was found dead in an empty bathtub in 2004. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in his trial Monday.

      Drew Peterson is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the drowning death of his former wife Kathleen Savio who was found dead in an empty bathtub in 2004. Jury selection is scheduled to begin in his trial Monday.
    Associated Press

  • This undated file photo provided by her family shows Stacy Peterson, 23, and her husband, Drew Peterson, 53. Drew Peterson, long suspected in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, was charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose 2004 death had been ruled accidental before authorities revisited it once Stacy Peterson vanished.

      This undated file photo provided by her family shows Stacy Peterson, 23, and her husband, Drew Peterson, 53. Drew Peterson, long suspected in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, was charged with murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose 2004 death had been ruled accidental before authorities revisited it once Stacy Peterson vanished.
    Associated Press

  • Former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson talks to the media as he leaves his home in Bolingbrook on Nov. 26. 2007.

      Former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson talks to the media as he leaves his home in Bolingbrook on Nov. 26. 2007.
    Associated Press

  • Flowers and a small angel statue surround the grave marker of Kathleen Savio, the third wife of Drew Peterson, at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside on Feb. 22, 2008.

      Flowers and a small angel statue surround the grave marker of Kathleen Savio, the third wife of Drew Peterson, at the Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside on Feb. 22, 2008.
    Associated Press

  • Attorney Joel Brodsky answers questions during a 2007 interview with The Associated Press in Chicago. Brodsky is the lead defense attorney for former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson.

      Attorney Joel Brodsky answers questions during a 2007 interview with The Associated Press in Chicago. Brodsky is the lead defense attorney for former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson.
    Associated Press

  • Susan Doman, right, sister of Kathleen Savio, gets a hug outside the Will County courthouse after a May 22, 2009, bond hearing where a judge refused to reduce former Drew Peterson's $20 million bail.

      Susan Doman, right, sister of Kathleen Savio, gets a hug outside the Will County courthouse after a May 22, 2009, bond hearing where a judge refused to reduce former Drew Peterson's $20 million bail.
    Associated Press

  • Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow speaks at a July 7, 2010, news conference outside his office in Joliet, Ill. Glasgow is the lead prosecutor in Drew Peterson's murder trial.

      Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow speaks at a July 7, 2010, news conference outside his office in Joliet, Ill. Glasgow is the lead prosecutor in Drew Peterson's murder trial.
    Associated Press

  • Former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson leaves his Bolingbrook home on his motorcycle in 2007.

      Former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson leaves his Bolingbrook home on his motorcycle in 2007.
    Associated Press

  • Drew Peterson yells to reporters as he arrives at the Will County courthouse in 2009 for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his former wife Kathleen Savio.

      Drew Peterson yells to reporters as he arrives at the Will County courthouse in 2009 for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his former wife Kathleen Savio.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

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.

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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.

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