This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," December 17, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Request denied.
Drew Peterson wants his things back, the things police seized with at least four search warrants. Peterson wants them back so badly, he sent his lawyer to court today. Did he win?
WIND news anchor Sharyn Elman joins us with the details. Sharyn, what happened in court today?
SHARYN ELMAN, WIND RADIO NEWS ANCHOR: He did not get anything back. I think the judge denied his request for any items to be returned, except for, as of January 1, police say that they will return two iPods, 23 CDs, possibly some school books and some school supplies that were in a book bag that they might have taken. But that's it.
They will not return the cars at this point. They're not returning the computers. Drew Peterson was saying that he wanted the car, at least one car back because he's been renting a car, but the judge denied him. He said he will look at the request again. He'll revisit the seized items on January 25.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did the prosecution say, or the representative for the police department, who actually were the ones who seized the items — did they say why they still needed the vehicles?
ELMAN: They're still going over them. They're still looking for any — you know, the things that we know that they've been looking for, blue plastic, scuff marks, plastic shavings, any kind of impressions or carpet indentations. They're still — you know, they're still doing testing on both of those vehicles. They're also looking at the outsides of the cars for dirt and different kinds of things that might tell them where he's been. And so they are not ready to return those.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Turning to another issue, cell phone records and a search. Is there anything to update us on whether or not they are searching, and if there's any news on the cell phone records?
ELMAN: Yes. Well, what they said that they did, they have been looking at the Chicago sanitary and ship canal, which is across between — it's in Lockport and Romeoville. And what they're looking for is either the blue container or Stacy. They say that the cell phone records are showing that although Drew Peterson said that he was actually at home, he was — his cell phone is showing that he was in that area, which is what led them to that area to start to do the search. And they're back there again.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, this information about the cell phone records, is that — has that been confirmed by the police department, or is that what media sources are getting with what we call leaks?
ELMAN: Yes, that's what we're getting from leaks. The police will not confirm any information. They will not give us a confirmation on pretty much anything. I mean, the only thing that we know for sure is what they said that they will — what they've taken and what has been in the warrants that we've seen. But the rest of the information is leaks that we're getting.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. This area where they're searching with the information about the pinging and the cell phone, how about how far is that from the Peterson home?
ELMAN: It's within six miles, seven miles. It's — you know, it's the towns that are bordering Bolingbrook, Romeoville and Lockport.
VAN SUSTEREN: How much search has actually been done of that area so far?
ELMAN: Well, they've been searching there with — you know, Equusearch has been there and the Coast Guard, the police, the FBI, Naperville police, Bolingbrook, the Will County, Illinois State Police. But what they have been doing is they've been pulling vehicles and old — you know, they're finding refrigerators and other things that are in this water in this area. They've been pulling it all. They've looking through everything. They said whatever they find that isn't connected to the case, they'll disperse — you know, they'll get rid of. But they won't give us any more information than that.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, what Cassandra has told us, What Stacy's sister, had told us is that about 11:00 o'clock on the night of October 28, that she made a phone call to Drew Peterson, her brother-in- law. Is that the pinged phone call, at least as far as we can figure out from the leaks — I mean, we haven't confirmed that ourselves yet at FOX News, but is that the pinged call that sends them to the canal?
ELMAN: Yes. She — Cassandra is saying that she was at — she was outside of Stacy and Drew Peterson's home when she called Drew Peterson, frantic about Stacy, and that that was when — that is the ping that they're using from his cell phone to — because he was saying he was home, and she knows he wasn't there because she was outside his house.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, that's been reported by The Herald News by Joe Hosey, this whole business about the cell phone pinging. Is there any other news organization that is reporting that, that you know of?
ELMAN: There's a Bolingbrook newspaper that has also reported that, but yes, that's pretty much it.
VAN SUSTEREN: And we're unsure if both the Bolingbrook newspaper and Joe Hosey have the same source or a different source on that.
ELMAN: I'm believing that they have the same source on that.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. So we're still working on trying to track that one down to see. Obviously, if that were true, that would be a very important piece of information. If it's false, it's incredibly unfair to Sergeant Peterson. But we'll keep pounding on that one to see what the story is. Sharyn, as always, thank you.
ELMAN: Oh, Greta, it's great to talk to you. Let me just really...
VAN SUSTEREN: Oh, we lost her. She had one other quick point, if we can get her back.
ELMAN: I'm here. And actually, I wanted to quickly fill you in — the lawyer, Joel Brodsky, he filed a letter asking the judge to appoint a special prosecutor (INAUDIBLE) leaks from the grand jury. And Stacy's family is saying that they are no leaks. The Will County state's attorney spokesman says that they're trying to discredit the grand jury proceedings and there's no basis in fact for what Peterson is requesting. That's quote, unquote. So I just wanted to fill you in on that.
VAN SUSTEREN: Great. Thank you, Sharyn.
ELMAN: Thanks so much, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let's bring in the panel. In San Francisco, criminal defense attorney Michael Cardoza and former San Francisco assistant DA Jim Hammer. And here in Washington, criminal defense attorneys Bernie Grimm and Ted Williams.
Jim, if this story is true about the pinging of that phone — devastating. Of course, we don't know if it's true or not. I mean...
JIM HAMMER, FORMER ASST. SAN FRANCISCO DA: Well, I don't know about you, Greta, but it's like deja vu all over again with the Scott Peterson case. That was one of the key pieces of evidence later that convicted him at trial, showing that he was out at the bay. Remember what led from that, though, an extensive search in the bay from a couple of different techniques. And they never found the body only because she floated ashore.
So again, presuming he's innocent so far, but if this — if he is guilty, this might lead them to the body. It might not. Or one last twist, a really, really clever killer who's a cop could have done that to set people on the wrong track. That's also a possibility.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's interesting, Bernie, how cell phones have become sort of the new evidence. I mean, it used to be that DNA was the new evidence in cases. But now it's cell phones because we have this investigative journey that we're taking at the phone call late at night on the 28th. But we also have the question of whether or not phone calls were made the night Kathleen Savio died, the pastor told us about, from Stacy to her husband.
BERNIE GRIMM, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. I had a case 11 years ago. I'll never forget it. Cases (ph) go in and find (ph) client used his cell phone to connect to one of the leaders in a gang organization. We had put on a ton of evidence that he never knew these people. So the fact that he lied about something, which on its face may have been innocuous, but the fact that we affirmatively put on evidence that ended up being wrong just devastated us.
But yes, cell phone records — the technology is amazing. If we can get that ping near the Romeoville canal, when he says he's at home, when the women says, I'm at your home, I don't see you here, that in combination with the other one is — you know, the problem with this case, it's — the evidence is sort of very small. It's, like, brick by brick by brick. He's presumed guilty at this point.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well...
GRIMM: As a juror, you're going to say, You know what? You're her husband. Where is she? How come you don't know?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, Michael.
MICHAEL CARDOZA, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes. I agree. I mean, he is presumed guilty right now. And cell phones? Boy, are they the evidence of today. I'm in the middle of a death penalty preliminary hearing, and the biggest evidence they have are the pings off a cell phone which allegedly put my client close by. So you know, it is something...
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me — let me...
CARDOZA: ... that could be a small piece of evidence, but it could turn out to be very, very big in this case.
VAN SUSTEREN: Let me ask you about this presumed guilty because, I mean, I'm troubled by it because the last thing, you know, in the world we want to do is violate someone's constitutional rights. But you've got all these pieces of evidence that — or at least — I should back up by saying, you know, they're leaks, so they're questionable at that point. You know, what are we — do we ignore them and not at least investigate them?
CARDOZA: No. No, but what people do, Greta, is they presume guilt. I bet you talk to the people that watch your show, the people that have read about this case, they'll say, He did it. He's got to prove to me differently. And until then, in their minds, he's guilty right now.
I mean, he's contributed a lot to this, so he can't point fingers at other people. I mean, he's done a lot to convince people that he's done this. Right now, they don't have the evidence. But if they get enough circumstantial evidence — and Jim said this before, circumstantial evidence is really damning evidence. And most evidence that comes into trial is circumstantial evidence.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I separate that into two parts. One is if I thought that the jury pool were only people that watched our show, I'd be very troubled. I think the jury pool is going to be — I think they're going to find a lot of people for this jury pool who have never, regrettably I guess, heard of "On the Record." That's the first thing.
And I will take a bow for our producers here at "On the Record" — Steph Watts, Kerry O'Connor, Cory Howard, Mark Fuhrman out on the ground there — because they're the ones who brought the autopsy report to the police, which then transferred to the prosecutors, which actually started — generated an investigation into what I think is no doubt a suspicious death of Kathleen Savio. And if it weren't for the pressure of that, you know, who knows.
TED WILLIAMS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, even the — even — even the chief — the chief thanked Steph Watts on our air.
WILLIAMS: Well, I think we've done an excellent job, or our producers. I also believe that Mark Fuhrman has done a good job. And what we must understand is, an investigation is just that, sort of like a puzzle, and you have to put that puzzle together piece by piece. And what we're trying to do at this junction is with the information that's even being leaked is put that puzzle together. These pings can be devastating, and I'll tell you why. You...
VAN SUSTEREN: If they exist. I mean, that...
WILLIAMS: If they exist...
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, I think that's what we owe our viewers is to say, If they exist. We've gotten it from a single-source leak...
WILLIAMS: Absolutely. But let me say this. You've said night after night, you wanted to know about an alibi. His lawyer has said that he's given the Illinois State Police an alibi. If he has given them an alibi saying, Hey, I was home, I was sleeping, and if these pings are there, making sure that he was in that area...
WILLIAMS: ... that is terribly inconsistent. And that's what they're focusing on.
VAN SUSTEREN: And of course, even though I've pounded Joel Brodsky to try to get that information, I've even asked Drew to come on and do the same, they have no obligation to do that, do they, Bernie. Absolutely none. They owe us nothing.
CARDOZA: You know, Greta...
GRIMM: No, no. Not at all.
CARDOZA: Greta, you know what's interesting about grand juries and what most people have the misconception about, is that when witnesses testify in a grand jury, that they're to keep silent. And that's not true at all. What the prosecution does is ask them, Please don't say anything about your testimony, but they have every right to come out of that grand jury and talk about their testimony. If you want to call that a leak, all right, then it's maybe being leaked. But those witnesses have every right to talk about what they testified about.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, it's an interesting thing. People are constantly e-mailing us or posting comments on Gretawire, why he hasn't been arrested. And it's interesting that you might have enough suspicion, Bernie, that he committed a crime, but you've got to have evidence of a crime. And in Illinois, I was told that the speedy trial act is that when you make the arrest, if someone's kept in custody, you've got to try that case in 120 days. So if — they may have enough to be suspicious of him to make the arrest, but not to convict him, whether he's guilty or not guilty.
GRIMM: Yes, I mean, the clock starts to tick once they throw handcuffs on him, essentially. But let me go back to what Jim Hammer said. The parallel to this and Scott Peterson are eerie. Scott Peterson, they took their time, plodded along very slowly, getting receipts from the marina, tracking him, interviews...
GRIMM: ... talking to all the witnesses, finding Amber. I think they're going to say, you know, We have one shot at this. Let's make sure it's right. We'll put a very powerful circumstantial case together. We're not going to be able to get him hands-on with either woman and murdering them, so we're going to have to just build a powerful case, and join them for trial, if they can.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, people are saying, though — people think that the prosecution is dragging its heels. But if you go back to the O.J. Simpson case, the murder of Nicole happened...
HAMMER: Huge mistake.
VAN SUSTEREN: ... in the early morning hours on Monday. By Friday, Gil Garcetti, the DA, rushed to make that arrest. And by rushing to make the arrest, the speedy trial clock began to run, putting pressure on those DAs to get this thing — to get this thing to trial. They were still investigating the case, doing testing during the trial, because the prosecutor, Gil Garcetti, pushed it.
GRIMM: Well, the great thing is — sorry, Jim. The great thing is...
HAMMER: Go ahead.
GRIMM: ... Johnnie Cochran walked in and said, We're not seeking to...
HAMMER: Speedy trial.
GRIMM: ... waive speedy trial, we're ready to go.
VAN SUSTEREN: Which is why, Jim, the prosecutor in this case should take his time.
HAMMER: Time is totally on the prosecution's side. And again, the big break will be if this body turns up. You know, the odds of her being alive are so slim right now, and hopefully, some evidence with that. If, for instance — big if — she turns up in that canal and if the ping match is there, the guy is dead in the water.
CARDOZA: You know what's interesting is Mark's report and Steph's report about the clothes, the Ninja clothes he was wearing on the night of Savio's death, and being out that night and being tracked by a cell phone that night, too. Brodsky and Peterson haven't denied that yet. That's interesting to me. Why haven't they denied that one yet?
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, because...
HAMMER: That's never coming into evidence, though.
VAN SUSTEREN: Because they don't have to deny it to us. And you know...
CARDOZA: They don't have to deny anything, but they've done it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, I know, I'm just saying is that, you know there's a small — look, I'm suspicious of Drew Peterson, but there's a small piece of me that reminds myself is that things aren't always as they seen. And so I'm, you know, cautiously suspicious. I don't know how else to describe it.
CARDOZA: I agree.
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, I guess that's the...
CARDOZA: Presumption of innocence.
VAN SUSTEREN: That's the presumption of innocence you're talking about, Michael.
Content and Programming Copyright 2007 FOX News Network, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Transcription Copyright 2007 Voxant, Inc. (www.voxant.com), which takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the transcription. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material except for the user's personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon FOX News Network, LLC'S and Voxant, Inc.'s copyrights or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.