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Judge puts off ruling on mistrial in Drew Peterson case

JOLIET, Ill. — The judge in the Drew Peterson murder trial has adjourned early and delayed a decision on declaring a mistrial.

A legal drama erupted Wednesday after a state witness let slip testimony that defense lawyers claim irreparably tainted jurors.

Instead of ruling immediately on the defense’s mistrial motion, the judge granted a request to let Peterson’s lawyers think through the matter until Thursday morning.

The witness, Thomas Pontarelli, mentioned on the stand that he once found a .38-caliber bullet in his driveway and believed Peterson planted it there to intimidate him.

Peterson is accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Pontarelli was her neighbor.

With jurors out of the room, Judge Edward Burmila blasted prosecutors for working in the testimony. He called it a new “low.”