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Judge sets limit on e-mail communications in Drew Peterson case

Friday, May 25, 2012

A Will County judge heard arguments Friday on an emergency motion in the Drew Peterson murder case. Prosecutors wanted the judge to limit e-mail communications about the case.

The emergency motion was about e-mails sent between the prosecutors, the defense attorneys and the judge. In the end, they agreed to only send e-mail to each other during business hours, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Peterson is accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and is also a person of interest in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

Peterson sat stone-faced throughout the hearing.

The state filed the emergency motion. They wanted to put parameters on the e-mail communication that the defense was using. Prosecutors allege that defense attorneys were using e-mails to make arguments directly to the judge rather than using the appropriate legal channels.

At no point did prosecutors allege that Judge Edward Burmila was doing anything wrong, but the judge started off the hearing visibly annoyed. He gave the prosecutors a tongue-lashing, saying, "You just can't cut the baby in half. Either we're going to have e-mail or we're not. And if we cannot agree on having e-mail, then forget about it."

In the end, both sides agreed to the business hours-only compromise.

"(The agreement) is going to help us immensely," said Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. "This is a very complicated case. When there is a loose end out there because of an e-mail that came in, it makes it difficult to keep control of everything."

Clearly, at some point there were some e-mails that were either missed because the defense had sent them late at night -- that was alluded to in court. The content of those e-mails is sealed.

ABC 7 is waiting for comment from defense attorney Joel Brodsky.

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