New judge to handle Drew Peterson's bid for new trial following murder conviction

A new judge will handle the post-conviction proceedings for former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson, who's seeking a new trial following his conviction for the 2004 murder of his third wife.

On Friday, Will County Judge Edward Burmila told both parties in the Peterson case that he plans to have the case reassigned to another judge because he plans to retire on Aug. 19.

Burmila was the judge who presided over Peterson's trial in 2012. Peterson was convicted of the 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, 40.

Burmila said because he has no assignment authority, he will have Judge Dave Carlson, the presiding judge of the felony division, decide which judge will take the case. Carlson will typically assign felony cases to other judges or himself.

Peterson's next court hearing is slated to take place in Carlson's courtroom on Aug. 26.

Peterson is seeking a new trial and contends the ineffective representation from his former attorney, Joel Brodsky, is one of many reasons why he should get one.

Burmila had issued a gag order on Brodsky after he spoke with WGN-TV about possibly revealing what happened to Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who's been missing since 2007.

Burmila said on Friday the gag order will continue.

Brodsky has appealed Burmila's gag order with the Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa. Burmila was told by a Will County prosecutor the appeal has been fully briefed but the appellate court has not made a ruling.

The gag order came at the request of one of Peterson's new attorneys, Jason Strzelecki. He said in a motion Brodsky is a potential witness in Peterson's post-conviction proceedings and he wanted to ensure the "fairness and integrity" of those proceedings.

Brodsky has said the gag order was "absolutely ridiculous" and "flawed in literally a dozen different ways." He said it's flawed because he is not a party to the case.

Strzelecki's motion said Peterson denied he ever gave Brodsky or his other attorneys incriminating information. Brodsky declined to respond to that claim, citing Burmila's gag order.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.