Peterson Murder Trial: 8 in the Box
Eight jurors were chosen on the first day of the Drew Peterson case Monday.
It was the first day of jury selection and Burmila kept 31 of 40 prospective jurors for nearly 12 hours—past 9 p.m. Eight more people are needed for the 12-person jury and four alternates.
Peterson, who appeared in court in a gray jacket, dark pants, a new haircut—and without his trademark mustache—stands accused of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Savio was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. Despite the tumultuous, occasionally violent divorce she was going through with Peterson and the strange circumstances of her death, the Illinois State Police quickly dismissed her case as a fatal bathtub accident.
The state police were forced to reassess this determination when Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, mysteriously vanished in October 2007.
The state police have identified Drew Peterson as the sole suspect in Stacy's disappearance but have yet to charge him with harming her. Stacy's younger sister, Cassandra Cales, briefly appeared for jury selection Monday morning and did not return in the afternoon.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors agreed to put the following five men and three women on the jury for Peterson's murder trial:
- An older woman from unincorporated New Lenox who took college classes in business and child care. Married to an auto body technician, this woman has eight children, four of whom are divorced. She reads the National Enquirer but doesn't believe its stories.
- This juror was born in Puerto Rico and moved with his family to Bolingbrook in 2001 when he was 11. He attends Columbia College in Chicago and hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting. When school is not in session he lives in Bolingbrook with his family. He said his father is the dean of students at Bolingbrook High School.
- This middle-aged man is a graduate of Lockport High School. He has worked at his job for 30 years and was an employee of Texaco for eight and a half years before that. His wife is a retired school nurse and cares for their grandchildren.
- This middle-aged woman was born in Poland and moved to Chicago when she was 5. She complained that serving on a jury would be a hardship for her because she watches her 6-year-old granddaughter for her daughter, who is a single mother and "sole supporter."
- This juror is a life-long resident of Joliet. A middle-aged man, he said he is related to at least four lawyers, including a criminal lawyer in Joliet. He was married once but divorced 25 years ago.
- This middle-aged man said he has seen nothing of the Peterson case since Judge Stephen White warned the pool of potential jurors to insulate themselves from the story three years ago. He said he uses the Internet to buy parts for his motorcycle and sometimes watches Fox Chicago.
- This older woman has two sons and her husband is retired. She works for a telecommunications company and enjoys watching Dancing With the Stars, What not to Wear, Survivor and NCIS on television.
- This native Hawaiian also lived in Virginia before returning to the state of his birth. He attended but did not graduate from law school and also dropped out of graduate school. He was a member of the Hawaiian Army National Guard but was discharged early after again moving from Hawaii. He said he still received an honorable discharge. He has lived his last 28 years in Bolingbrook and works as a mail carrier.
Twelve other potential jurors were dismissed for cause. Nine were dropped on peremptory challenges.
Another 58 potential jurors will report Tuesday morning as selection continues, an official said.
Read our blog from Day 1 of the Drew Peterson murder trial.