Michael Peterson wants new trial

December 26, 2008 7:16:32 AM PST
The lawyer for a Durham novelist sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife wants to start over in court.Jason Anthony, Michael Peterson's new attorney, references a handwritten statement by a man who lives less than one-third mile from the Peterson home.

The note says the man found a tire iron in his yard shortly after Kathleen Peterson's death. He kept the iron in his basement for months until a news story about a tire iron as a possible murder weapon caught his attention.

Two years later when the trial was almost over, an investigator took photos that were submitted to the SBI for testing.

According to Anthony, the evidence would've lent itself to a possible intruder theory.

"This was never given to Mr. Rudolph," Jason Anthony. "Mr. Rudolph went with the theory that she fell because he had no evidence something else could've happened."

District Attorney David Saacks said investigators ruled it out as a murder weapon. Anthony said the log that showed the tire iron was found and tested wasn't shown to defense lawyers.

"It's [the tire iron] been in Durham PD's police department evidence room," Saacks said. "It's been there."

Medical examiners said Peterson's wife was beaten to death. Peterson and his attorneys said she died in an accidental fall.


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