HBO Staircase: Who is Bill Peterson, Michael’s brother?


Michael Peterson (at proper) unpacks his briefcase as his brother Invoice Peterson (at left) carries a stack of paperwork June 10, 2003 within the Durham County Courthouse.

Information & Observer file photograph

The premiere of HBO Max’s “The Staircase” is renewing curiosity — domestically and past — within the 2001 loss of life of Kathleen Peterson in Durham and the next homicide trial and conviction confronted by her husband, Michael Peterson.

The sequence, set to premiere Might 5, is a dramatization of Jean-Xavier de Lestrade’s documentary sequence of the identical title, which is obtainable for streaming on Netflix.

Within the new HBO Max sequence, Michael Peterson’s brother, Invoice Peterson, is portrayed by actor Tim Guinee. In actual life and within the documentary sequence, Invoice was current for a lot of Michael Peterson’s trial, usually sitting in on technique and planning classes with Michael’s protection workforce.

So, who’s Invoice Peterson? Right here’s what to learn about him.

From the HBO restricted sequence “The Staircase”: Tim Guinee as Invoice Peterson, Sophie Turner as Margaret Ratliff, Colin Firth as Michael Peterson, Olivia DeJonge as Caitlin Atwater and Patrick Schwarzenegger as Todd Peterson. HBO

Who’s Invoice Peterson? Legislation follow, training, extra

Invoice Peterson, whose full title is William Peterson, is an legal professional at the moment working towards with the Reno, Nevada, workplace of Snell & Wilmer, a nationwide legislation agency.

He has been a lawyer for greater than 30 years, specializing in “vitality legislation, utilities, complicated torts and all aspects of economic litigation in state and federal court docket,” in line with his biography on the Snell & Wilmer web site.

His biography states that he has “appreciable trial expertise,” having “tried over 40 instances to jury verdict and roughly 50 bench trials to judgment.”

Invoice Peterson additionally has expertise working as a lawyer within the vitality and utility industries.

In his roles as normal counsel for numerous utilities, together with Nevada Energy Firm and Sierra Pacific Energy Firm, Invoice Peterson “participated in or personally led over 30 public utility proceedings in Nevada and California,” his biography reads.

Patrick Schwarzenegger as Todd Peterson and Invoice Guinee as Invoice Peterson within the HBO Max sequence “The Staircase.” HBO/Warner Bros

Previous to turning into a lawyer, Invoice Peterson acquired his bachelor’s diploma in 1969 after attending School of Holy Cross, College of California Berkeley and N.C. State College.

After faculty, he served within the U.S. Military from 1969 to 1972.

He acquired his legislation diploma from the College of Southern California in 1975.

What position did Invoice Peterson play in Michael Peterson’s trial?

Whereas Invoice Peterson is an legal professional, he was not an official member of his brother’s protection workforce in the course of the homicide trial.

He did, nonetheless, sit in on many planning and technique classes with the protection workforce, as proven in “The Staircase” documentary. He was additionally usually discovered sitting behind his brother in the course of the trial, typically with Michael’s youngsters and different relations.

The Information & Observer reported in the course of the trial, in Might 2003, that Michael Peterson took out a $300,000 mortgage from Invoice Peterson to pay for “mounting authorized payments.” Michael Peterson had additionally beforehand offered a property he owned in Durham to assist pay for authorized payments.

From left, Mike Peterson’s son, Todd Peterson, and Invoice Peterson, Mike Peterson’s brother, take note of the proceedings Thursday, Might 1, 2003 throughout a listening to within the homicide case of Mike Peterson. Jury choice is scheduled to begin Monday for Peterson’s trial on a homicide cost within the loss of life of his spouse, Kathleen. Information & Observer file photograph

“We’re serving to my brother pay for the price of protection of this case, which is kind of extraordinarily costly,” Invoice Peterson stated on the time.

Invoice Peterson continued to remain by his brother’s aspect all through the trial and thru jury deliberations. The N&O reported throughout jury deliberations, in October 2003, that Michael Peterson usually chatted within the courtroom with “pals, his brothers Invoice and Jack or his former spouse, Patricia” because the jury deliberated.

In the identical N&O report, Invoice Peterson was reported to have borrowed legal professional David Rudolf’s copy of “Rush Limbaugh is a Massive Fats Fool” by Al Franken to learn within the courtroom throughout deliberations.

At one level throughout “The Staircase” documentary, the Peterson household, together with Michael, Invoice and a few of Michael’s youngsters, collect on the dinner desk, whereas Michael was nonetheless on trial, to have fun Invoice’s birthday. In a toast to Invoice, Michael Peterson stated, “I couldn’t have gotten by way of this with out my brother.”

Tim Guinee as Invoice Peterson, Michael Stuhlbarg as David Rudolf, Colin Firth as Michael Peterson and Justice Leak as Tom Maher within the HBO Max sequence “The Staircase.” HBO/Warner Bros

Extra on HBO’s ‘The Staircase’

For full protection of HBO Max’s “The Staircase” and different background on the loss of life of Kathleen Peterson and the homicide trial of Michael Peterson, go to: newsobserver.com/subjects/staircase

Observe extra of our reporting on Staircase: Kathleen Peterson’s loss of life and Michael Peterson’s homicide trial

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Korie Dean is a reporter on The Information & Observer’s service journalism workforce. She is a graduate of the Hussman College of Journalism and Media at UNC-Chapel Hill and a lifelong North Carolinian.

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