Local News

Housekeeper Does Not Remember Seeing Blowpoke In Petersons' House

Posted September 23, 2003
Updated December 9, 2006

— The prosecution claims Mike Peterson used a blowpoke to kill his wife, but a housekeeper who has worked at the Peterson house for the last four years said he never saw one in the house.

Clyde Andrson, a cook at a fast food restaurant who also does part-time work for the Petersons, testified Monday that he had never seen a blowpoke at the Petersons' house since he started working there in 1999. He also told jurors he was the one who tried to clean the bloody stairwell, not Kathleen Peterson's sister, Candace Zamperini, as stated in earlier testimony.

However, during cross-examination, District Attorney Jim Hardin suggested Andrson's memory was not reliable. Hardin asked him about a Christmas tree at the Peterson house. Andrson said he put the tree up days after Kathleen Peterson's death, but a videotape shown in court showed the tree was up the night of her death.

Earlier in the day, crime scene analyst Tim Palmbach returned to the stand. Palmbach is an assistant to Dr. Henry Lee, a forensic scientist who studied the blood spatter on the stairwell where Kathleen Peterson's body was found.

During direct questioning more than a week ago, Palmbach told jurors that Durham police made numerous mistakes at the Peterson mansion the night Kathleen Peterson died. Because of a scheduling conflict, Palmbach's testimony had to be continued until today.

Palmbach said police did not secure the scene quickly enough. During cross-examination, when Hardin pressed him on how much time would have been appropriate. Palmbach refused to give him a direct answer.

Defense attorneys have said they may wrap up their case by sometime this week. But that does not mean the end of the trial. Prosecutors have said they may have as many as five rebuttal witnesses.

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