Local News

Peterson Attorney Upset Over TV Interview With Victim's Sister

Posted September 9, 2002

— New motions filed in the Kathleen Peterson murder case take shots at Durham District Attorney Jim Hardin. Murder suspect Mike Peterson's attorney accuses Hardin of hiding evidence and using the case to play politics.

One motion filed by Peterson's attorney, David Rudolf, claims Candace Zamperini, Kathleen Peterson's sister, said in a TV interview that "she has been told by the District Attorney's Office that they have identified some object as the murder weapon," which would cast doubt on Peterson's belief that his wife most likely fell down the stairs to her death last December.

Rudolf said if a weapon has been identified, the defense should have been informed of its existence.

Another motion accuses Zamperini of plotting with Hardin to grant the interview just a week before primary election day. Rudolf believes she gave Hardin a plug in the interview, noting, "All that was missing was the unspoken tag line: Vote for Jim Hardin."

In a phone interview, Hardin responded to the allegation saying "I didn't tell her to do it and I didn't ask her to do it."

Hardin also responded to Rudolf's allegations stating it's "extremely amusing he runs to the media the second something comes out that he doesn't think is favorable to his client." Hardin said he cannot comment as to whether investigators have a murder weapon.

Zamperini said she never said Hardin's office told her about the existence of a murder weapon. She said that is just what she believes. As for the timing of the interview, she admits she did time it strategically, but Hardin never asked her to do it.

Rudolf said the matter is serious enough that Judge Orlando Hudson may schedule a hearing about it this week.

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