Peterson wasn't charged in Stacy's disappearance, and she has never been found. He is currently being tried for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
In his opening statement, Peterson's defense attorney Joel Brodsky repeated the claim that Savio died from an accidental fall. The 2004 death had been ruled an accident until Savio's body was exhumed during the Stacy Peterson investigation.
Regardless of the circumstances of her death, Brodsky painted a none-too-kind picture of the deceased.
Brodsky told the jury that Savio was on antidepressants and had been known to fly into jealous rages during the time that she and Peterson were divorcing in 2004. He described her as bossy and a liar, and said she would yell so loudly that other police officers where Peterson was a sergeant could her hear over the phone.
He then went on to say, "Kathy slipped and fell in a household accident, case closed." Presumably the character assassination was just provided in case anyone started to feel bad for her.
Brodsky's claim that Savio's death was an accident contradicts a 2007 forensic report that concluded her death was a murder. Peterson's defense team will offer forensic pathologists to testify that the death was, in fact, accidental.
Naturally, the prosecution is presenting a vastly different version of events, claiming that Peterson killed his wife to be with then-girlfriend Stacy Peterson, and arranged her body to make it look like an accident.
During today's trial, Savio's friend and neighbor Mary Pontrelli testified that Savio had been jealous after finding out her husband was cheating on her. According to Pontrelli, Savio changed the locks and installed a deadbolt on her bedroom door. After Savio's death, the door was photographed with a large hole in it.
Defense attorneys argued that Pontrelli's story has changed since she first told it. Also, Kathy Savio was totally awful. Don't forget that.
[Image via AP/Tom Gianni]