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updated: 7/25/2012 7:36 AM

Jury selected for Drew Peterson murder trial

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  • In this courtroom sketch, Joel Brodsky, left, attorney for Drew Peterson, second from left, look on as Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow addresses Will County Judge Edward Burmila during the first day of jury selection in Peterson's murder trial, Monday

      In this courtroom sketch, Joel Brodsky, left, attorney for Drew Peterson, second from left, look on as Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow addresses Will County Judge Edward Burmila during the first day of jury selection in Peterson's murder trial, Monday
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

JOLIET -- A full jury was selected Tuesday for the murder trial of former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson, who was charged with killing his third wife after his fourth wife disappeared in 2007.

It took two days to pick the 12 jurors and four alternates. The jury will get the next few days off and begin hearing testimony after opening statements next week. Seven men and five women are on the jury. Nine jurors are white, two are African-Americans and one is Hispanic.

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Peterson, 58, is charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. Her death was ruled accidental until police began investigating the 2007 disappearance his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

After a jury is chosen, attorneys will have until next Tuesday to prepare their opening statements. Prosecutors are expected to call their first witnesses later that same day.

Those chosen to decide Peterson's fate include a part-time poet, a U.S. letter carrier, a woman who said she likes to read the National Inquirer but doesn't believe everything in it, and a man who owns a Harley Davidson and spends hours on the Internet looking for motorcycle parts.

One juror is a Chicago White Sox fan; another is a Chicago Cubs fan. Other jurors include a plant manager, a Polish-born woman who emigrated to the United States with her family when she was 7 and a research technician whose favorite TV show is "Criminal Minds."

Those struck from the jury Tuesday included a woman whose father -- like Peterson -- was divorced three times and a physician who divorced his wife, then remarried her.

In one-by-one questioning, defense attorneys asked prospective jurors if they watched a 2011 cable TV movie about Peterson that starred Rob Lowe. They also asked potential jurors whether they have been through acrimonious divorces.

Savio's body was found in a dry bathtub in her home, her hair soaked in blood, just before her divorce settlement with Peterson was to be finalized. He allegedly feared the settlement with Savio would wipe him out financially.

More than 200 prospective jurors were summoned to hear the long-delayed Peterson case in 2009 and were instructed at the time to avoid all media coverage about it.

Peterson, who shaved his trademark mustache for the trial, has appeared fully engaged in the jury-selection process, studying potential jurors as they answer questions and making suggestions to his attorneys about questions to ask.

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