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Drew Peterson trial continues with paramedic testifying about the scene of Kathleen Savio's death

Drew Peterson
=Drew Peterson arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his former wife Kathleen Savio. AP Photo/M. Spencer Green

(CBS/AP) JOLIET, Ill. - Shortly the judge denied a mistrial request Thursday, testimony continued in the murder trial of former Chicago police officer Drew Perterson with prosecutors calling a paramedic to the stand in a bid to prove Peterson staged a scene, making it look like his wife Kathleen Savio died in a bathroom accident.

Louis Oleszkiewicz said a towel visible in a later investigation photo wasn't there when he was at the home on March 1, 2004. Prosecutors have suggested Peterson placed the towel there after paramedics arrived to ensure it looked like Savio had been taking a bath.

On Wednesday, the judge admonished prosecutors after a witness began testifying about finding a .38-caliber bullet on his driveway. Thomas Pontarelli, a former neighbor of Savio's, hinted that Peterson may have planted it there to intimidate him.

Early Thursday, Judge Edward Burmila told jurors to disregard Pontarelli's statement about the bullet. And, in a rarity for trials, the judge signaled to jurors that the state had messed up, telling them a prosecutor had asked Pontarelli a question "she knew would elicit an inadmissible response."

Peterson, who was a police officer in the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Savio's death. He also has said he wasn't responsible for his fourth wife's disappearance.

The mistrial request was the second in as many days in the case that has been beset by botched investigations and an absence of physical evidence.

Complete coverage of the Drew Peterson case on Crimesider

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