With just two months to go before Drew Peterson goes on trial for the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio, there's been a major shakeup in his defense team. On Wednesday two lawyers who took part in the month long hearsay hearing this year called it quits.
Andrew Abood (who has been part of the defense from the beginning) and George Leonard (who joined the team last year) cited irreconcilable differences over trial strategy as the reason for withdrawing from the case.
"Because we were unable to work it out, Mr. Abood and Mr. Leonard did the ethical thing that they're supposed to do when the lawyers can't agree and they decided to step aside," said Peterson's lead attorney Joel Brodsky.
Brodsky has now added flamboyant Chicago attorney Joseph Lopez to the team. Lopez is well know for representing mobsters. Last year he served as Peterson's lawyer during a mock trial. His closing argument resulted in a hung jury.
"It's an interesting case, I just decided I would get on it, and it's going to be quite a challenge and I'm looking forward to it," Lopez said.
Jury selection is set to begin June 14th. Brodsky said he will be ready to go and this change in the defense team should not present any problems.
The judge in the case still has not ruled on what hearsay evidence will be allowed at trial. His decision will only be released to attorneys. But if prosecutors determine his decision hurts their case, they can appeal, and that could result in a delay in the trial date.