Drew Peterson jurors coordinated clothing ‘because we were bored’
BY DAN ROZEK AND BOB OKON Staff Reporters September 7, 2012 8:04PM
Jurors from the Drew Peterson case are from left, Patricia Timke(1st alternate) Teresa Mathews, Eduardo Saldana, foreman, and Jeremy Massey as they speak to the media at the Will County Administration Building in Joliet, IL on Friday September 7, 2012. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 9, 2012 3:08PM
They dressed alike for days, donning blue shirts one day, red the next, and even sports jerseys once.
But the color-coordinated clothes worn by the Drew Peterson jury — which caused daily comments inside and outside the courtroom — weren’t symbols of solidarity or protest.
“We were bored,” jury foreman Eduardo Saldana explained Friday.
Juror Teresa Mathews suggested part way through Peterson’s five-week trial that it might be fun if jurors all wore blue shirts in court the next day.
She said she came up with the idea during one of the jury’s innumerable breaks as attorneys argued a legal issue in the courtroom.
“We probably spent more time in the jury room than in the courtroom,” said Mathews.
Jurors ran the plan past their bailiff first to make sure it didn’t cause a problem.
Later, when they decided to wear sports jerseys — mostly Bears and White Sox shirts — they said they first passed word to Judge Edward Burmila to get his approval.
Burmila, a devoted Sox fan, OKed it and even joked with jurors the next day that he was pleased no one wore a Cubs jersey.
Despite speculation from attorneys and courtroom observers that wearing similar shirts carried some deeper meaning, jurors insisted that wasn’t the case. “There was no message,” Mathews said.
The only thing the clothing conspiracy showed was that jurors could reach a verdict on what to wear, Mathews said.
“We did get along very well,” she said.