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Blame it on Drew Peterson, Says Killer Chris Vaughn's Lawyer

The Drew Peterson media circus prevented Vaughn from getting a fair trial, his lawyer said, and the wife-killer's attorneys didn't help things either.

First, he killed one wife, then he was named a suspect in the disappearance of another, and now Drew Peterson's very existence has mucked up Christopher Vaughn's murder trial, the Oswego man's lawyer said Monday.

Vaughn's lawyer, George Lenard, said the specter of Drew Peterson hanging over the Vaughn case is just one of the reasons his convicted quadruple-killer client needs a new trial.

Besides the problem with Peterson, whose own murder trial was taking place in the courtroom next-door to Vaughn's in August and September, Lenard claimed Vaughn's case was corrupted when prosecutors succeeded in "indoctrinating" one of the jurors. Lenard also said a prosecutor insulted him during the closing arguments and he accused the jury of "improper deliberations."

The jury took only 50 minutes to find Vaughn guilty of murdering his wife, Kimberly, 34, and three children—Blake, 8, Cassandra, 11, and Abigayle, 12. Lenard said this quick verdict following the five-and-a-half week trial was improper, especially since the jury asked no questions after retiring.

"It's very rare and it's never happened to me where the jury doesn't want to see one piece of evidence, and that's what happened here," Lenard said. "That tells me that there was something that went terribly wrong in the trial."

Vaughn was supposed to be sentenced to life in prison Monday. Lenard's lengthy argument for a new trial put that off until Tuesday—unless Judge Daniel Rozak decides Vaughn will get a new trial after all. Rozak said he will announce his ruling at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The Vaughn murders rocked the Chicago region when the news first broke in June 2007. But when Vaughn's trial finally started five years later, it was completely overshadowed by the Peterson case.

Lenard pointed out that both men were charged with murdering their wives and that the two cases were linked in news reports. He also said the media circus surrounding the case, which seemed to have been encouraged by some of Peterson's lawyers, turned off jurors selected for the Vaughn trial.

Lenard went on to criticize Peterson's lawyers for their buffoonish behavior following jury selection and recalled how, during a press conference, they mocked the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

"That gave criminal defense lawyers, all of us, a black eye," Lenard said.

Lenard also complained about Assistant State's Attorney Chris Regis' closing argument, saying the prosecutor "attacked my credibility."

Lenard said Regis essentially called him a liar and labeled him and his arguments "ridiculous," "offensive," "ludicrous," "unthinkable," "silly," "unfounded," "shameful," "embarrassing," "and last but not least, dumb."

"When you get up there and say a defense attorney or a prosecutor is basically lying to the jury, that's improper," Lenard said. "That's what Mr. Regis says right out of the box."

Lisa November 27, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Does it matter. he killed four people , kill him and save us tax payers alot of wasted money ....
Deborah Moore November 27, 2012 at 02:02 PM
I believe the jury came back so fast. Because they knew he was guilty... seriously let's grasp at straws to give him a new trial, where the jury will again find him guilty just as fast.. save us tax payers some money..And sentance him already...
Glenn Brooks November 27, 2012 at 02:44 PM
50 minutes? What took them so long ?
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Humm! Who will have more of a problem in the general population Peterson or Vaughn? My money is on Vaughn. A vast majority of prisoners hate a killer if children. Vaughan better watch his back.
Patch reader November 27, 2012 at 03:17 PM
He should kill himself to save the tax payers money,
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Another prisoner will do it for him one day.
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 04:03 PM
Great news. Scum bag Vaughn was denied a new trial.
Ken November 27, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Next up will be scum bag Peterson being denied a new trial. His police pension should be taken away as well! What a waste of taxpayer money!
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Peterson has a better chance for a retrial. Vaughn was convicted on tons of evidence , unlike B.S. hearsay in the Petetson trial. Also they can't touch Petersons pension.
Clutche November 27, 2012 at 07:05 PM
The sentencing has been confirmed by the New York Times....little late on this one Patch
oCoMiK November 27, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Front page on stltoday.com. I really like the prosecutor's comments... 'Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow told reporters afterward that "there isn't a punishment that fits this crime." He called Vaughn "a heartless, soulless psychopath." ' The more I think about it having him in a cage when it appears he so coveted freedom, i.e. going to the Candadian wilderness, may be the most fitting sentence for him.
Ken November 27, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Peterson was convicted on evidence. The scum bag is using taxpayer money to fund his defense. If they can tie his crime to his job as a cop, he could loose the pension.
JPauly November 27, 2012 at 08:17 PM
In case anyone is wondering. The lawyer requested a new hearing because it his job to do everything he can to defend his client and keep his client out of prison. The judge took a day to consider to make sure there would be no wiggle room to let justice get away. Although, I do like some of the passionate comments here.
Jubilee Jones November 27, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Thankfully, they'll both have a rough time in prison. Remember - prisoners, in general terms, HATE cops, too. After all, cops helped put them in jail (not the crime they committed, of course). Cops are dead meat in jail, in one way or another.
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 10:39 PM
Hearsay evidence what a joke! No physical evidence. How is the crime tied to his job? Not at all ! Savios death occurred on Petersons weekend off. Pension until he dies. Money for his children.
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Jubilee not always true! I doubt there's even one person in prison that Drew put away.
Despiser of Obama November 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM
Ken a judge sure can't take away Drews pension. It's up to the pension board.
Serge Storms November 28, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Even though I think Drew Peterson is guilty, Peterson did not kill his own kids.....so as far as monsters go...Vaughn is worst then Drew.
Jen November 28, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Why not the death sentence and fast?!? Now we have to pay for this sick m'er f'er to eat and crap for the rest of his life. That's bull. Go back to the days of hanging and be done.
Despiser of Obama November 28, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Maybe they will put Drew with Vaugh and Drew can rub him out.
Nancy McWilliams November 28, 2012 at 01:05 AM
I wonder if that stripper will 'wait 'for Vaughn and still be 'his girl.' They must have had true love to do what the did to that beautiful family.Now he has to sit there and hear their screams in his head for the rest of his life. Cold.
Ken November 28, 2012 at 01:55 AM
Peterson was on duty when Kathleen's body was found.
mike November 30, 2012 at 07:08 AM
I no you guys all want these criminals put the death and I understand the other problem is the good people who are honest should be treated fare to will county has some screwed up problems were in Elwood on 1 acre and a will count zoning guy told us we can't pick up dead trees in our yard our clean our property up we have a creek behind us bad it fills up and floods our house so we clean it out and burn the trees that fall in the creek and we had a little dirt poured uo against our house to keep the floods down a little it's a violation he says it's be cause will county wants our money so now we can't clean up what we bought omg this is crap Greg is the guy will county zoning I have small kids who lost there stuff to the floods it was sad never was told this house would flood like this my kids lose out will county is criminals them self we bleed to fight back were all having hard times but cleaning up is a violation now you have to have a permit to clean what is this Greg $$$$$$$ I thought we have the right to protect our house and family's this world is coming to evil hate and will be lots more murders and crime to come were pushed in to it and were fighting back good luck Greg
mike November 30, 2012 at 07:17 AM
This is horrible to our family the way people can treat us it seems nothing matters both more it's a bout the money well our family's mean lots to us even our belongings we protect were we live bad the things we love but cleaning up trees and using some dirt fir the floods come on will county deal with the criminals not the ridicules cleaning up its time to stand up and tell how we feel our we get pushed more around and will county takes our money that our family's need kill the criminals and help the family's

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