Peterson case returns with hearing for new trial - New York News

Former, current Peterson lawyers face off in court

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(AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File) (AP Photo/Paul Beaty, File)
CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

It was a courtroom showdown Tuesday between Drew Peterson's lawyer and his former lead attorney as the former Bolingbrook police sergeant fights to win a new trial.

Former defense teammates Joel Brodsky and Steve Greenberg faced one another as opponents with the same cause, convincing the judge that Peterson was so poorly represented at trial that he deserves another chance.

Joel Brodsky tried to avoid testifying for the defense on the grounds that he had been subpoenaed by the prosecution, but the judge said that didn't matter and told him to sit down in the witness box.

Brodsky slumped and rolled his eyes, clearly unhappy at the prospect of being questioned by his former defense colleague and now bitter rival Steve Greenberg.

Before court started, Brodsky had Greenberg served with court papers for the defamation lawsuit he has now filed against Greenberg.

"This is not between me and Joel Brodsky," Peterson's attorney Steve Greenberg said. "This between Drew Peterson and the people of the state of Illinois."

Brodsky's testimony produced no fireworks, but a woman who sat through the trial testified to overhearing a heated argument between Brodsky and Greenberg about whether or not to call Harry Smith. Jurors said his testimony helped convince them that Peterson killed his third wife Kathleen Savio.

Jennifer Spohn testified that she heard Brodsky tell Greenberg: "yes, I'm doing it, we need him."

Spohn said Greenberg yelled back: "I filed 74 f***ing motions to keep smith from testifying and now you're going to undo it all."

A former judge is expected to offer critical testimony Wednesday as part of the effort to show Peterson had ineffective counsel and so deserves a new trial.

"We're gonna present a witness tomorrow who's gonna testify how calling Harry Smith and how Harry Smith was treated, and the examination of Harry Smith on direct was probably the worst thing he's ever seen and he's done thousands of trials," Greenberg said.

Brodksy contends the decision to call smith was supported by all the lawyers and he mocked the defense's case as weak.

"This is their post-trial motion? I mean this is Drew's last chance before going to prison for probably the rest of his life?" Brodsky asked. "It's not very impressive, I'll tell you that."

Prosecutors appeared confident that after the defense is done with their case Wednesday, the judge will deny Peterson's motion for a new trial. If that happens, the hearing will move right into the sentencing phase. That decision could come down as soon as Wednesday, with Peterson facing at least 20 years in prison and as much as 60.

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