Defense attorney Joe Lopez said in closing arguments of the Drew Peterson murder trial Tuesday that America’s founding fathers would be sickened by the evidence the prosecution presented during its case.
“The framers of the Constitution would barf at this evidence! There’s nothing but doubt in this case," Lopez said. "People get on the TV and lie, just like they do in this courtroom… People lie when it’s for their own agenda.”
Lopez told jurors repeatedly that Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, died as a result of a horrible accident.
“Is this a massive conspiracy between the FBI and the Illinois State Police to protect Sgt. Peterson? Of course not! It’s an accident. An accident,” said Lopez.
Prosecutors allege that Peterson killed Savio by holding her underwater until she drowned, and he staged the crime scene to look like an accident. Lopez said Tuesday that Savio’s fatal bathroom fall is a common occurrence.
“People slip and have household accidents all the time … at least 1.6 people out of a million die in the bathtub. And she was the one. And they want to make it a murder,” said Lopez.
The prosecution objected to Lopez’s statistical information, and Judge Edward Burmila told Lopez to clarify his statement.
“If there’s 300 million people in the United States, then about 300 people a year die in the bathtub, in the United States,” said Lopez.
During prosecutor Chris Koch’s closing arguments Tuesday, he asked the jury to use common sense when deciding whether reasonable doubt exists in this case and find Peterson guilty. Lopez argued just the opposite, that common sense dictates an acquittal in this case.
“Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is the standard here. Proof beyond a reasonable doubt. And they haven’t even proved that. They’ve proved it was an accident, all right, they’ve proved that. Do you think Drew hated her so much that he would take her away from the mother of the children he loved? Absolutely not!" Lopez said.
"Do you think Tommy Peterson would have come in here and testified as a defense witness? Tommy said Drew broke down -- it breaks your heart -- Imagine how that must have felt. And Tommy picked it up. Kids pick up on all the things their parents do,” said Lopez.
Lopez also said Peterson was a victim in this case. He reminded the jury at the end of his closing arguments that Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, wanted to make Savio’s accidental death look like a murder for her own financial gain as she planned to divorce him.
The jury will be charged by the judge at 9 a.m. CDT Tuesday, then begin deliberations.