After hearing 14 weeks of evidence, a Durham. N.C., jury has begun deliberating in the murder case against novelist-politician Mike Peterson. He is charged with the Dec. 9, 2001, murder of his wife Kathleen, who was found in a pool of blood at the foot of the back staircase in the Petersons’ mansion.
The Charlotte Observer says that jurors have “viewed gruesome autopsy photos showing wounds that ripped his wife’s head to the bone. They’ve heard testimony — some lurid, some graphic, some nap-inducing — from EMS workers, police detectives, forensic scientists and a former homosexual prostitute named Brad.”
There was also a Perry Mason moment when a defense attorney pulled out a brass fireplace poker thought by prosecutors to be the missing murder weapon.
The Observer says that the verdict in “this weird, wild, Court TV-covered trial will likely boil down to who came out looking worse: The defendant or the prosecutors and investigators who sought to convict him.”
Peterson said he and his wife had been drinking to celebrate the news that movie producers had purchased the option for one of his works. He later found her lying at the bottom of the staircase.