Judge Rules On Drew Peterson's Mental Competency

JOLIET, IL — On Thursday morning, the Will County Public Defender’s Office learned that their efforts to have convicted killer Drew Peterson deemed mentally incompetent for his post-conviction case were rejected by Will County Judge Dave Carlson.

Carlson announced his ruling after reviewing a report prepared by a psychologist who was hired by the Will County Public Defender’s Office to evaluate the 70-year-old Peterson’s mental competency. The public defenders were hoping to have Peterson undergo further psychological evaluations in front of a neuropsychologist, but the judge turned down that request.

The judge did not find that there was a bona fide doubt as to Peterson’s mental fitness, and the judge also took into account a one-on-one interview that Peterson participated in at the Department of Corrections in late February with NewsNation.

Find out what's happening in Jolietwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

The judge’s ruling does not necessarily bring an end to Peterson’s case. Peterson’s petition that he filed two years ago, seeking a new trial on the basis of ineffective assistance of counsel, can still proceed. The judge set the post-conviction case for a status hearing in July.

“May I approach the bench?” Peterson asked.

Find out what's happening in Jolietwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Politely, the judge told Peterson that he could not.

Several minutes later, once Peterson was led away from Courtroom 405 by the Department of Corrections security staff, Peterson’s former lawyer, Joel Brodsky, stepped up to the podium.

Judge Carlson subsequently denied Brodsky’s motion to dismiss the prosecution’s petition for indirect criminal contempt.

On March 1, Brodsky was charged with criminal contempt by Bill Elward, special prosecutor from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Brodsky was accused of violating the court’s previous gag order imposed upon him by giving an interview with a true crime television show host for NewsNation regarding his role as Drew Peterson’s lawyer.

During Thursday’s hearing, Brodsky insisted the criminal complaint against him is vague and does not specify how he committed criminal contempt. “This just says he violated a gag order by appearing on TV. It does not say how that violated the order. It’s defective on its face,” Brodsky argued.

Special prosecutor Elward maintained that Brodsky’s appearance on NewsNation in February violated the court’s previous gag order prohibiting Brodsky from publicly discussing his role as Peterson’s attorney for his 2012 murder trial at the old Will County Courthouse.

According to Elward, on Ashley Banfield’s NewsNation podcast that aired Feb. 28, Brodsky revealed that Peterson planned to lie on the witness stand if Peterson testified during his murder trial for the 2004 death of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Brodsky revealed to NewsNation that, “Drew doesn’t realize you know he’s sitting there saying, hey, I made a mistake because I wouldn’t let him testify … he doesn’t realize what he’s saying is, there’s one reason a lawyer can’t let a client testify if the client wants to testify, and that’s if the lawyer knows the guy’s going to get up on the stand and lie. So basically Drew is confirming … I can’t, I’m trying to walk right up to the line and not cross it, but what Drew is doing is basically affirming that I know, I know what happened.”

According to Elward, “he went over the line by telling a podcast audience that Peterson planned to lie on the stand. The only reasonable inference from this comment, and indeed the only reason respondent was on the podcast was to reveal confidential information that he is not allowed to disclose. This is in violation of the May 19, 2022 order.”

Additionally, Brodsky also revealed during the Feb. 28 NewsNation podcast that Peterson should do the right thing to tell the truth about the murders of Savio and his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, according to the special prosecutor.

According to the special prosecutor’s filing, Brodsky remarked during the February NewsNation interview, “Well, I think you know Drew wants to visit me. I think I’m going to visit him because I’d like to see him do the right thing. I’d like to see Drew because he’s never getting out. That post conviction thing has been about two and a half years now, mostly those cases take a few months, so… I know how his mind works. I know what he’s thinking. Him and I, you know, were together for what, six years. I want to talk to him. I think he should do the right thing. I think that if he does the right thing, it’ll benefit everybody including his children, including him. I think he needs to do the right thing because he’s not getting out if he had a chance …”

Before Thursday’s court hearing ended, Brodsky asked Judge Carlson if he can meet with his former client, Peterson.

“Joel, I can’t give you legal advice on this,” Carlson remarked. “If he’s communicating with you in some sort of a legal way, that’s fine.”

Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.

Click Here: edinburgh rugby jersey