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updated: 12/14/2012 8:14 AM

Drew Peterson's lawyers bash lead trial attorney

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  • Drew Peterson

      Drew Peterson

 
Associated Press

Lawyers working to overturn Drew Peterson's murder conviction accused his former defense attorney Thursday of blowing the case through legal errors and "a smorgasbord of ethical violations."

In a court filing, Peterson's current lawyers say lead trial attorney Joel Brodsky misrepresented his experience, engaged in an unprecedented media blitz and called a witness who jurors later said was key to their decision to convict.

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They also say Brodsky threatened to reveal confidential information about Peterson if he tried to fire Brodsky or reduce his role on the defense team.

"Attorney Brodsky expected that Drew Peterson would be his ticket to the legal elite," the document filed in Will County court states. "Regrettably, he was poorly equipped to try a case of this magnitude, resulting in hornbook errors and a smorgasbord of ethical violations."

The filing asks a judge to throw out the murder conviction or order a new trial.

Peterson was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Savio's death was initially ruled an accident. Her body was exhumed and her death ruled a homicide only after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007. Authorities presume Stacy Peterson is dead; Drew Peterson is a suspect but has never been charged in that case.

Before his arrest in Savio's death, Peterson went on television and radio shows, often accompanied by Brodsky. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant sometimes made jokes that observers said would make him an unsympathetic figure with potential jurors.

He faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Brodsky stepped down from the defense team last month. Reached Thursday, he called the filing "a baldfaced lie" and said the entire legal team agreed to the trial strategy.

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