JOLIET – A physician who treated Drew Peterson’s third wife testified at the former police officer’s murder trial Friday that a condition she suffered from, called “cervical vertigo,” would have made her feel unsteady but would not have caused her to fall.
The testimony is important because the defense maintains that Kathleen Savio died in an accidental fall in a bathtub at her suburban Chicago home and that her condition may have contributed to her losing her balance.
Dr. Gene Neri told jurors that precisely because cervical vertigo makes people feel unsteady those with the condition tend to be more careful and so fall less than those without it.
“If there’s one thing as adults we all hate, it’s the thought of falling,” he said.
Peterson, a 58-year-old former Bolingbrook police officer, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Savio’s 2004 death.
Her body was found in her dry bathtub with a gash on the back of her head.