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Lawyer: New trial sought for Drew Peterson

Drew Peterson

Drew Peterson

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Updated: October 10, 2012 9:25AM

The Drew Peterson saga took another bizarre turn Tuesday, as an outside attorney filed a motion seeking to overturn the former Bolingbrook police officer’s murder conviction claiming his lawyers flubbed the case.

John Paul Carroll, of Naperville, said he filed the motion in Will County Court on Tuesday afternoon seeking a new trial for Peterson. Carroll said Peterson did not get adequate legal representation during the trial that led to his conviction for the March 2004 murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Carroll said that’s why he, and not lead Peterson defense attorney Joel Brodsky, filed the motion.

“How can Mr. Peterson advance this theory that he had ineffective assistance of counsel and have Mr. Brodsky present that argument?” Carroll said. “You have to have somebody not involved in the case.”

Peterson, 58, was convicted in September for Savio’s murder and is facing a maximum of 60 years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 26.

Nevertheless, the move by Carroll comes amid uncertainty over the makeup of Peterson’s legal team moving forward.

Since his Sept. 6 conviction, Peterson “fired” attorney Steve Greenberg from his defense team. Greenberg had filed paperwork in court seeking to withdraw from the case, but after a lengthy hearing last week asked a judge to delay the motion until next month.

Then came Carroll’s motion on Tuesday.

Carroll said a member of Peterson’s family left him a message last week asking him to meet with Peterson.

“I’ve even kept a tape,” Carroll said. “I kept the message on our office voice mail ... and the message was, ‘Could you go see him?’”

Carroll said he asked Judge Edward Burmila to let him have a face-to-face meeting with Peterson, and Burmila agreed.

Carroll said he met with Peterson for about an hour last week.

“He brought up a number of issues — one of these was the ineffective assistance of counsel,” Carroll said.

Even with the new filing, Carroll said, Peterson’s legal team could continue filing other appeals on his behalf. But an outside attorney was needed to argue the ineffective assistance claim, Carroll said.

But Brodsky balked at the notion and said Carroll was not authorized to act on his client’s behalf.

Carroll, also a former cop, was called in to consult with Peterson about his police pension, Brodsky said. Stephen Peterson, Drew Peterson’s son, has been trying to contact Carroll to reconnect with him since then, but has been ignored, Brodsky said.

Brodsky said he was aware that Peterson was meeting with Carroll, but that it was only about his pension. Peterson has said in three face-to-face meetings and at least eight phone conversations that Carroll was only brought in as a consultant, Brodsky said.

“I spoke to Drew today. Drew reiterated to me that this is absolutely unauthorized. (Carroll) has no authority to file it,” Brodsky said. “He is boggled. That’s Drew’s word, ‘boggled’ as to how he did this.”

Brodsky said he had heard about the motion Carroll filed about 4 p.m., but had not yet seen it. A hearing is scheduled for Friday morning, the attorneys said.

“The filing should be stricken. It’s absolute insanity,” Brodsky said. “It’s bizarre beyond belief. It’s so unbelievable, I don’t know what to say. I’m speechless.”

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