One of Drew Peterson's lawyers pushed to have the disgraced former cop's felony gun charge dropped but won't get to plead his case for another month.
Joel Brodsky, the only one of Peterson's six attorneys to show up to court Monday, filed a pair of motions to have the gun charge dismissed.
Richard Schoenstedt, the judge presiding over the case, was not in court Monday. Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak accepted Brodsky's motions, told Assistant State's Attorney John Connor to have a motion prepared by Tuesday and scheduled an Aug. 23 hearing for both sides to argue.
Peterson is charged with possessing an assault weapon with a barrel shorter than the state-mandated 16 inches. Brodsky has insisted Peterson is immune from prosecution because he carried the weapon while serving on the Bolingbrook Police Department.
That supposed immunity is the basis of one of Brodsky's motions. On Aug. 23, Brodsky will also argue that the Second Amendment gives Peterson the right to own the rifle.
The August hearing is set for the same day Peterson is due in court for Judge Stephen White to get an update on how the appeals process is going in the alleged serial wife-killer's murder trial.
Peterson is charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in March 2004. He is also suspected of slaying his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, but faces no criminal charges in connection with her death or disappearance.
The trial is on hold while State's Attorney James Glasgow appeals White's ruling on what hearsay statements will be allowed to be presented to the jury.
White's ruling was filed under seal to protect the integrity of the jury prior to the trial. But Brodsky has complained about the ruling being leaked to the media and said last week it was done by prosecutors to turn public opinion against Peterson.
Brodsky explained that for the judge to let in any hearsay evidence at all, he must believe Peterson likely killed both wives, and claimed that prosecutors want the public to think the worst of his client.
But on Monday, Brodsky shifted the blame and accused DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett of talking to the press.
"My understanding is Birkett had a copy and the timing is suspicious, because all the leaks started after he started consulting with Mr. Glasgow," Brodsky said.
Immediately after laying the blame squarely on Birkett, Brodsky said, "I'm not accusing him," then added, "The timing is suspicious."
Birkett's spokesman, Paul Darrah, failed to return calls for comment. But Glasgow's spokesman, Charles B. Pelkie, refuted Brodsky's allegations.
"(Birkett) doesn't have a copy of the ruling," Pelkie said. "It's absurd."
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