Drew Peterson Pleads Not Guilty

Prosecutors asks for change of judge; hearing set for Thursday

Looks like Drew Peterson learned his lesson about court appearance etiquette.

A dramatically more subdued Peterson showed up at the Will County Courthouse for arraignment Monday morning without saying a peep to the media about the possibility of getting out of jail.  

Peterson's jail bus pulled up adjacent to a loading dock door and he stepped directly into the suburban Chicago courthouse, allowing gathered cameras to get barely a glance at the shackeled suspect. 

Of course, it would have been difficult for him to outdo himself with his comments a few weeks ago when he mugged for cameras and announced "three squares a day and this spiffy new outfit, how could I complain? Look at all this bling!"

For Monday's court appearance, Peterson wore different "spiffy" jail uniform, something resembling navy blue surgical scrubs. He entered the courtroom at about 8:45 a.m. for a 9 a.m. court call.

Brodsky did the talking today, entering a formal plea of not guilty for Peterson.  Brodsky is expected to ask the judge to reduce his client's bond from $20 million to less than $500,000. 

"Drew has proven he is not a flight risk or danger to the community. Bonds are not supposed to be punitive, but to ensure someone's presence in court," Brodsky told NBC's "Today" show on Monday.

With a reduction, Peterson could bond out and return home to await a possible trial on murder charges relative to the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Shortly after Peterson's case was called before the Will County judge Monday morning, prosecutors asked for a change of judge, which was followed by an immediate call for recess.   In their motion, lawyers for the Will County State's Attorney simply said they wanted Judge Richard Schoendstedt to be replaced "because of prejudice against prosecutors."  Schoendstedt is the same judge who ruled that Peterson did not violate a gun law in an unrelated case brought against Peterson last year.

The matter was set for a hearing on Thursday.  Now the waiting game begins.

Peterson has been in jail since May 7.   His attorney said they may request a change of venue

His fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, has been missing since 2007, raising suspicion that Peterson may have had a role in her disappearance.

Peterson continues to deny any involvement in Savio's death or Stacy Peterson's disappearance.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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