This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," November 29, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: Earlier, we spoke with Sergeant Peterson's lawyer, Joel Brodsky.
VAN SUSTEREN: Good evening, Joel.
JOEL BRODSKY, DREW PETERSON'S ATTORNEY: God evening.
VAN SUSTEREN: Joel, have you spoken to your client, Drew Peterson, today?
BRODSKY: Yes, I've spoken to him briefly this morning.
VAN SUSTEREN: How's he doing?
BRODSKY: Well, he's doing as good as can be expected. You know, he's — he's in the lion's den, so to speak. He's bunkered down in that house. It's kind of under siege. And he's just, I mean, wondering when the next new story is going to come out. You know, hour to hour, it seems that something new is developing. So he's just living in a state of constant wonderment about what's next.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know, it's sort of interesting. The story today on the front page The Chicago Sun-Times, in which it is stated that Stacy, his wife, spoke to a clergyman a couple of months ago and said that Drew killed wife number three — as a practical matter, that's probably something that could never be used against him because it's a hearsay statement. However, waking up this morning to see that splashed across the front page, what did he tell you about that?
BRODSKY: Well, he was totally amazed and in disbelief. And what we have to remember, when you look at it — I mean, I talked to him a little bit about it. And when we thought about it for a few moments, what we found was we have an unauthorized, unattributed source leaked — talking to a gossip columnist about somebody saying what somebody else said to somebody else. And it was just — and there's not one attribution in it and everybody is unidentified. And so we really didn't find, when you really thought about it, that there was much problem in it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Well, you know what? Let me tell you something that's probably going to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck, is that we've actually found the source. Mark Fuhrman has spoken to the person directly, and that person has confirmed the content of the conversation to us. So it's not so fanciful. However, as a practical matter, as I noted, I don't think it's particularly admissible, should your client be charged. But don't kid yourself. We've actually spoken to the clergyman. Apparently, the clergyman's going to say that Stacy said that.
BRODSKY: Well, the clergyman then — what you're telling me is the clergyman is going to violate his oath of confidentiality. So that's a little bit disturbing but also, I think, goes a little bit to his credibility.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Well, but you've got a problem...
BRODSKY: None of this would be — you're correct in that none of this would be admissible in court. But be that as it may, it's just — it's disturbing that a clergyman would violate his oath of confidentiality. And I think — like I said, I think that speaks volumes about his credibility.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Let's go back to the practical matter that I discussed a second ago, is that your client's in the unenviable position of having to say the clergyman is a liar or violating his oath or whatever, but he's also got to say his stepbrother, who apparently is talking and saying that — - his stepbrother apparently is saying that he helped carry a container out of the home on Sunday, the night that Stacy disappeared So now he's got to call a second person either crazy, drunk, liar, mistaken or whatever.
BRODSKY: Yes. Well, the stepbrother — there's two things about the stepbrother. One that I just saw this evening was now the stepbrother's story seems to be a tote bag taken out of the house. It started as a 55- gallon blue barrel drum. Then it became a rectangular container, and now it's changed to a tote bag. The — it's morphing. It's — it's — I think what they call it, Transformers. It's incredible the way the story keeps changing.
But Tom Morphey is a very ill (ph) man with all his multiple psychiatric hospitalizations and his problems with alcohol and his multiple suicide attempts. There's no question that he is a very disturbed person. And there's so much, the state's attorney hasn't even brought him before the grand jury because of his memory lapses. So I mean, that's not reaching when we say that there's certainly very large credibility issues with this man.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Has your — did your client see Tom Morphey or talk to him on the Sunday Stacy disappeared?
BRODSKY: Absolutely not.
VAN SUSTEREN: Never saw him.
BRODSKY: Never saw him.
VAN SUSTEREN: Never picked him up in a park.
BRODSKY: Never picked him up in a park or anywhere else.
VAN SUSTEREN: Never took him to a coffee shop and put a cell phone down on the table.
BRODSKY: Never, which would — it would seem to me that that could be verified by the fact that there's no video of it. In this day and age, you know, every coffee shop, Starbucks or such, has video surveillance in it. And since there's no video, I mean, once again, it goes to prove the lack of credibility of the story.
VAN SUSTEREN: The following day after Stacy vanished, Tom Morphey, it is reported, ended up in the hospital. We have heard suicide attempt, maybe it's an accident. I don't know what it is. But that your client visited Tom Morphey. Did he visit him in the hospital or when he was released?
BRODSKY: I believe he visited him in the hospital a few days after his suicide attempt. You know, he said he felt sorry for Mr. Morphey. He had apparently lost his job and was losing his contact with his family and was — that would seem to be the reason he — for the suicide attempt.
And you have to remember, Morphey has had several suicide attempts. So you have to put this in the context. When you have multiple suicide attempts, the timing of the last suicide attempt really becomes less nefarious. You know, it's not just he tried once, he's tried many times.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is your client speaking to the police? I mean, are the police coming over and sitting down and going over details with him?
BRODSKY: No. He's given a statement to the Illinois State Police. He gave — he sat down with them shortly after Stacy's disappearance. He gave them a full and complete statement, and that's it. They have their statement and he's sticking by it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Can you explain to us what he said about the cars, whether they're in the driveway, out of the driveway, both cars, that Sunday night? I mean, there's some confusion about that.
BRODSKY: Well, I don't think there's any confusion. I mean, the neighbor talks about moving one car from — I think it was the following day. But I don't know of any confusion about the cars. They were there. They were at the house.
VAN SUSTEREN: Were they at the house at 11:00 o'clock that Sunday night, when Cassandra, Stacy's sister, stopped over?
BRODSKY: I believe they were. Remember, Cassandra, that's the one that reported Stacy missing at 4:00 o'clock in the morning, correct?
VAN SUSTEREN: Yes.
BRODSKY: And to me, that's a very strange time to report somebody missing, at 4:00 o'clock in the morning. I mean, you know, you would report them, certainly, if they didn't show up right away and you couldn't track them down, which would have been much earlier in the day, or perhaps in the morning when you woke up. But 4:00 o'clock in the morning seems to me a very strange time to be reporting somebody missing. I don't know, was she waiting for the bars to close? Maybe she knows something more about Stacy's habits than she's saying.
VAN SUSTEREN: Was Stacy a drinker, or is she a drinker?
BRODSKY: I don't know. I don't know. All I know is that that's a very, very strange time to make the missing persons call.
VAN SUSTEREN: Now, the reason why we're taping this tonight in advance of our live show is because you're going to meet with your client and some consultants. What kind of consultants?
VAN SUSTEREN: What are legal consultants? Are those lawyers, or what's a legal consultant?
BRODSKY: Well, they certainly are lawyers. And I've always believed that two heads are better than one, and sometimes it's always good to have a lively discussion among lawyers. It helps define the issues and the strategies. So although I think I'm pretty good, I like to always bounce my ideas off of people.
VAN SUSTEREN: Fair enough. And I totally understand that. But the consultants are all lawyers and just brought on to sort of brainstorm the approach to handling the case, is that right? They aren't from other disciplines?
BRODSKY: That's correct. At this time, the only other person we've consulted with an additional discipline Dr. Cyril Wecht on the autopsy issue.
VAN SUSTEREN: And what has Cyril Wecht told you about Kathleen Savio? Does he think it's a homicide or an accident?
BRODSKY: Well, his review of the initial autopsy, which is the only thing we've been able to get — we would love to look at Dr. Baden's autopsy report. But looking at the initial autopsy report and the initial testimony before the coroner's jury, he believes that the attribution of accidental cause of death by drowning was certainly supported by the evidence and by what the coroner's — what the pathologist found and what the coroner's jury heard.
VAN SUSTEREN: Joel, when you're handling a case like...
BRODSKY: He believes accident was correct.
VAN SUSTEREN: Joe, when you handle a case like this and — although no two cases are alike, I agree, and this is an unusual one — you have conversations with the prosecutor. Have you had conversations with the prosecutor, and are you worried your client is going to get charged?
BRODSKY: Well, that's a two-part question. First of all, I've called the prosecutor on several occasions to discuss certain issues with him. I've even gone so far as to write him a letter about those issues, and I have not received a return phone call or a returned correspondence, which is highly...
VAN SUSTEREN: Nothing? Nothing?
VAN SUSTEREN: Absolutely nothing, absolutely zero?
BRODSKY: Zip. And that's highly unusual. I mean, I'm dealing with different types of criminal cases all day, every day, and it's — calling up the phone and discussing issues with the prosecutors is something we do on a daily basis. And for me not to even receive a return phone call is highly unusual.
As far as my belief as to whether or not my client is going to be charged, as I sit here today, I still do not see one piece of admissible evidence against my client. There's not one thing that...
VAN SUSTEREN: That's a different...
BRODSKY: ... they could bring into a court of law...
VAN SUSTEREN: ... question, though. That's a different question. Do you think he's going to be charged? I mean, it's — I know — I know — there may be no evidence or whatever, but do you think he's going to get charged?
BRODSKY: No, I don't. And because that's because Jim Glasgow, Mr. Glasgow, the state's attorney in Will County, is a good lawyer. He's a fine prosecutor. And he is not going to walk into a courtroom on a murder — on whatever type of charge he may choose to bring when he doesn't have evidence to support it.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. One final question.
BRODSKY: Period, end of story.
VAN SUSTEREN: For some reason, I love asking you this question. I don't know why. But have I treated you fairly tonight?
BRODSKY: Of course you have, Greta. Of course you have.
VAN SUSTEREN: I know. I like to tease you with that. All right. I know you've got to go because you've got to go meet with your client and get the team together. Joel, thank you, and we hope you come back soon.
BRODSKY: Thank you very much, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Two quick things. One, we need to make a correction to my question to attorney Brodsky. We did find the clergyman that Stacy spoke to about Drew today. But apparently, the clergyman did not tell Mark specifically what Stacy said to him or did not say to him. But we're going to continue to work on this to find out more for you.
Now, here's the other thing that just came in. I just got an e-mail. Here's the e-mail content. "I am Tom Morphey's sister, and while watching your show right now, I'm going crazy listening to Mr. Brodsky say that Tom has had multiple suicide attempts. For the record, Tom has never attempted suicide ever before. He has had substance abuse problems. However, he has never attempted suicide before."
Now, assuming that that is the sister, that's the e-mail that just came in, listening to the lawyer. We're going to — we're going to follow up on this, as well, to make sure that we get all the information for you there.
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