Attorneys for Drew Peterson seek further examination of his mental fitness

Drew Peterson stands with his attorney’s Jason Strzelecki and Samantha Kerins during his hearing at the Will County courthouse on Monday, April 1, 2024 in Joliet.

Attorneys for Drew Peterson are requesting a doctor who specializes in neuropsychological issues to examine him after a previous psychologist was unable to reach a conclusion about his mental fitness.

Since 2021, Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, has been trying overturn his 2012 conviction of the first-degree murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, 40. Last February, Peterson’s attorneys with the Will County Public Defender’s Office have requested to have a psychologist examine Peterson’s mental fitness.

On Monday, Will County Judge Dave Carlson learned the results of that psychologist’s evaluation were inconclusive. Peterson’s attorneys have requested he undergo examination by a doctor who looks at neuropsychological issues.

Carlson questioned whether a bona fide doubt as to Peterson’s mental fitness had already been raised to merit further examination.

“All we have right now is an inconclusive evaluation by a psychological professional,” Carlson said.

However, Peterson’s attorneys said they do have a bona fide doubt as to Peterson’s mental fitness based on their conversations with him.

Carlson took a look at the report on Peterson’s mental evaluation, which he impounded from public view, and noted there was a page in the report that appeared to answer a lot of questions about Peterson’s fitness issues.

Peterson’s case was scheduled for Thursday for another status hearing.

Drew Peterson enters the courtroom for his hearing at the Will County courthouse on Monday, April 1, 2024 in Joliet.

Peterson made his second court appearance Monday. He did not say anything during the hearing. When Peterson’s case was called, he smiled at Carlson when he approached a podium near the bench. Peterson nodded when Carlson told him about rescheduling the case for another hearing Thursday.

Carlson also addressed the indirect contempt of court case that has been filed against Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky. The case was filed after Brodsky appeared on Ashleigh Banfield’s NewsNation program earlier this year on the Peterson case.

Brodsky is under a gag order from retired Will County Judge Ed Burmila to not talk about the Peterson case while the latter’s post-conviction petition is pending.

Special Prosecutor Bill Elward told Carlson that Brodsky is continuing to talk to the media about Peterson despite a court order from Carlson. Elward said he will seek the incarceration of Brodsky if he continues talking to the media.

Brodsky said there’s been “absolutely nothing” he’s said about his representation of Peterson to the media. He also pointed out how unfair it was that he was being singled out while prosecutors and Peterson’s other former attorneys, Joe Lopez and Steven Greenberg, have talked to the media.

“That makes no sense whatsoever,” Brodsky said.

Brodsky said Elward has yet to amend the petition seeking to hold him in indirect contempt of court and that the petition must define whether the alleged violation is a major or a minor one.

Many times throughout Monday’s hearing, Carlson implored Brodsky to not talk to the media about the case.

“These are court orders, not suggestions,” Carlson said.

Will County Judge Dave Carlson listens to the defense attorneys during the Drew Peterson hearing at the Will County courthouse on Monday, April 1, 2024 in Joliet.