Local News

Prosecution Rests Case In Mike Peterson Trial

Posted September 7, 2003
Updated December 9, 2006

— After 41 days in court, prosecutors wrapped up their case against Mike Peterson, a Durham novelist accused of killing his wife.

Friday, State Medical Examiner Dr. Deborah Radisch was back on the stand as the defense worked hard to raise reasonable doubt about her findings.

Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a stairwell on her house on Dec. 9, 2001.

Radisch said Kathleen Peterson's injuries prove she was beaten to death. However, defense attorney David Rudolf pointed out Kathleen Peterson did not have many of the injuries usually associated with a beating.

Prosecutors believe Kathleen Peterson was struck several times with a blowpoke. Radisch said a weapon like that could have caused Kathleen Peterson's injuries. She said the tool is heavy enough to produce cuts, but light enough to not fracture the skull.

On Monday, defense attorney David Rudolf will lay his cards on the table.

"Now, we will just have to assess whether we want to go forward with any evidence or whether we have done what we needed to do," he said.

The defense has lined up as many as 10 witnesses, including Dr. Henry Lee, a forensic scientist who worked the O.J. Simpson case. Last year, he visited the Peterson mansion to study the blood spatter.

Rudolf said he did not know whether Mike Peterson will take the stand in his own defense. He also said it may take about three weeks for him to present his case.


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