Prosecution and Defense Clash in Drew Peterson Murder Trial

Peterson's defense began by attacking the character of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
2:08 | 08/01/12

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Transcript for Prosecution and Defense Clash in Drew Peterson Murder Trial
NOW, TO THE DREW PETERSON TRIAL. OPPOSING SIDES CLASHING TUESDAY. OPENING STATEMENTS PAINTED TWO VERY DIFFERENT PICTURES OF THAT FORMER SUBURBAN CHICAGO POLICE SERGEANT, NOW, CHARGED WITH THE MURDER OF HIS THIRD WIFE. ABC'S ALEX PEREZ IS IN CHICAGO WITH ALL OF THE FIREWORKS. Reporter: IN WORDS FIERY AND DIRECT, PROSECUTORS OPENED THEIR CASE AGAINST DREW PETERSON TUESDAY, SAYING HE PLOTTED TO KILL HIS THIRD WIFE, KATHLEEN SAVIO, JUST WEEKS BEFORE HER DEATH, THE STATE'S ATTORNEY TOLD JURORS. HE TOLD HER HE WAS GOING TO KILL HER AND SHE WOULDN'T MAKE IT TO A DIVORCE SETTLEMENT. THE DEFENSE ATTORNEY FIRED BACK, SAYING THE FORMER POLICE SERGEANT IS A VICTIM OF A LEGAL FRENZY, WHICH BEGAN WHEN HIS FOURTH WIFE, STACY PETERSON, MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED. THE CHALLENGES FOR THE PROSECUTION, OF COURSE, ARE OVERCOMING THE FACT THAT THERE'S NO EYEWITNESS AND THERE'S NO SMOKING GUN. NO DNA. Reporter: AFTER STACY PETERSON VANISHED IN 2007, ATTENTION QUICKLY TURNED TO DREW PETERSON'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS THIRD WIFE, WHO WAS FOUND DEAD IN A DRY BATHTUB THREE YEARS EARLIER. AT THE TIME, SAVIO'S DEATH WAS RULED AN ACCIDENTAL DROWNING. BUT IN 2009, HER BODY WAS EXHUMED AND HER DEATH RECLASSIFIED AS A HOMICIDE. THAT SAME YEAR, PETERSON TOLD ABC NEWS, HE DOESN'T TRUST THOSE FINDINGS. IT WAS FRESH. Reporter: IN COURT TUESDAY, PETERSON'S ATTORNEY ALSO DENIED THE CHARGE. TELLING JURORS, THERE'S NOT ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THAT DREW PETERSON, OR ANYBODY ELSE, FOR THAT MATTER, WAS IN THAT HOUSE. WHY? HE ASKED. THIS WAS A HOUSEHOLD ACCIDENT. THAT'S WHY. SAVIO'S SISTER, SUSAN DOMEN, WHO COULD BE CALLED AS A WITNESS, HAS ALWAYS MAINTAINED IT WAS SOMETHING MORE. SHE SAID HE'S GOING TO KILL ME AND IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE AN ACCIDENT. Reporter: THE FIRST WITNESS TO TESTIFY WAS AN EMOTIONAL NEIGHBOR WHO FOUND KATHLEEN SAVIO. AND DEGREE PETERSON TOLD HER NOT TO COVER THE BODY BECAUSE INVESTIGATORS WOULD WANT IT UNTOUCHED. THE TRIAL IS EXPECTED TO GO TWO TO THREE WEEKS. TIME, NOW, FOR THE WEATHER

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