Drew Peterson let out of jail briefly to see mother in funeral home
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org October 11, 2012 10:08AM
Drew Peterson leaves the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., after his 2009 arraignment . File Photo. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
Updated: November 13, 2012 6:24AM
As attorneys battled over who’s representing him, convicted killer Drew Peterson was briefly whisked Thursday out of the Will County Jail to pay a final visit to his deceased mother.
Peterson was quietly escorted by “a bunch” of sheriff’s deputies from Joliet to a Darien funeral home to say goodbye to his mother, 84-year-old Betty Morphey, defense attorney Joel Brodsky said.
“It’s sad this had to happen,” said Brodsky, estimating Peterson was given nearly 30 minutes to see his mother, who died Monday.
Except for Peterson’s block-long trips to the courthouse for legal proceedings, the journey marks the first time he has left the jail since his May 2009 arrest on murder charges. Counting his travel time, Peterson was outside the jail for about an hour, a source said.
Will County’s top prosecutor James Glasgow said he had no advanced knowledge about the trip.
“If I had been asked for my advice, I would have advised strongly against it because of the obvious risks involved. However, the sheriff has custody of Mr. Peterson,” he said.
The surprise trip came as Brodsky and Naperville attorney John Paul Carroll clashed over who’s going to represent the 58-year-old former cop convicted last month of drowning his third wife, Kathleen Savio in 2004.
Carroll wasn’t involved in Peterson’s grinding five-week trial, but he abruptly filed a motion earlier this week contending Peterson’s conviction should be overturned because his legal team--led by Brodsky--botched his defense.
Carroll claims Peterson--whom he and co-counsel Michelle Gonzalez met with in the jail Thursday morning--wants him to step in to replace Brodsky.
“He gave me the go-ahead to represent him,” Carroll said, adding Peterson also approved filing a request to toss out his conviction because his lawyers were ineffective and made critical errors during the trial.
“He said, ‘go ahead,’” Carroll contended.
Brodsky--who has represented Peterson for nearly five years--disputed that.
Peterson confirmed in a phone call Thursday afternoon that he doesn’t want to change attorneys, Brodsky said.
“He trusts me, he knows I’m only looking out for his best interests,” said Brodsky, claiming Carroll offered Peterson only “crazy advice” during two jailhouse meetings.
“I straightened him out. Drew knows I’m not going to lie to him,” said Brodsky, who filed his own motion Thursday seeking to boot Carroll off the case.
He also wants them held in contempt for filing a “totally and completely unauthorized” request to overturn Peterson’s conviction.
Carroll and Gonzalez were supposed to meet with Peterson only to discuss legal issues pertaining to his police pension, Brodsky said.
Brodsky contended Peterson may not have been thinking clearly during his discussions with Carroll--particularly on Thursday--because he was upset about his mother’s death.
“I’m sorry Drew had to endure the haranguing of a snake oil salesman on the day he had to go visit his mother,” Brodsky said.
For his part, Carroll acknowledged urging Peterson to dump Brodsky as his attorney.
“I said to him, ‘you’re drowning and you’re holding a stone. I said, ‘let go of the stone and I’ll save you.’” Carroll recounted.
A Friday hearing before Judge Edward Burmila could determine who’s going to be Peterson’s lawyer.
“I think there’s a possibility the judge will tell Mr. Brodsky he’s out,” Carroll said. Brodsky ridiculed that claim, saying he’s confident Peterson will stick with him.
“If the client tells the judge he’s not interested, that’s it,” Brodsky said.
Contributing: Southtown Star