Cop-turned-killer Drew Peterson is hoping to get his murder conviction for the death of his third wife vacated.
Peterson, 67, was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the 2003 murder of Kathleen Savio in 2012 and another 40 years in prison for plotting to kill James Glasgow, the prosecutor who helped put him behind bars, in 2016.
Will County Judge Edward Burmilla scheduled a January 21 hearing into the murder conviction after Peterson filed a handwritten, six-page motion last October claiming he didn’t get a fair trial.
The disgraced Chicago-area police sergeant is also suspected of killing his fourth wife Stacy, who disappeared in 2007 at age 23 – just four years after Savio was discovered dead in a bathtub.
Peterson said in the claim that his attorney Joel Brodsky provided ineffective council, and that two state witnesses – a pastor and an attorney – should not have been allowed to testify due to privilege, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Wife killer Scott Peterson is hoping to get his murder conviction tossed later this month when an Illinois judge hears a motion to vacate the verdict in the 2003 death of his third wife. He’s pictured in a May 8, 2009 file photo leaving the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois
He also said that his lawyer forbade him from testifying in his own defense, and that he was pressured into giving media interviews ahead of the trial.
Peterson also contended that Brodsky threatened other attorneys with removal from the case if they disagreed with, and alleged prosecutorial misconduct and witness intimidation.
The judge found a ‘gist of a constitutional’ claim in Peterson’s motion, the Tribune reported.
Burmilla assigned Peterson a public defender and two investigators from the public defender’s office.
The body of his third wife Savio was found in a dry bathtub in 2004, weeks before a scheduled hearing to determine money and child custody issues related to her divorce from Peterson.
Her death was initially ruled an accident, but her remains were exhumed after the 2007 disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy. Savio’s death was subsequently ruled a homicide.
Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, was discovered dead in a dry bathtub in 2004, weeks before a scheduled hearing to determine money and child custody issues related to their split
The disgraced Chicago-area police sergeant is also suspected of killing his fourth wife Stacy, who disappeared in 2007 at age 23 – just four years after Savio was discovered dead
Stacy Peterson is presumed dead, although her body has never been found. Drew Peterson is a suspect in her disappearance, but has never been charged.
Part of Peterson’s argument to have the charge tossed relates to the testimony of a pastor and attorney who were allowed to take the stand under the state’s hearsay law. The convicted killer argued that they should not have been permitted to testify.
But the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous 2017 decision that hearsay testimony from Savio and Stacy Peterson did not violate Drew Peterson’s constitutional right to confront his accusers because of evidence that he killed them to prevent their testimony.
Savio’s (left) death was initially ruled an accident, but her remains were exhumed after the 2007 disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy (right). Savio’s death was subsequently ruled a homicide.
Drew Peterson, 67, who is in prison after being convicted of killing his third wife Kathleen Savio in 2003, maintains his fourth wife ‘ran off’
The Will County State’s Attorney’s office said in a 23-page written response that there was no merit to Peterson’s claims, and denied any misconduct or witness intimidation.
Prosecutors pointed out that the state’s higher courts, including the Supreme Court, ruled against Peterson, and provided court transcripts in which he told the judge that he chose not to testify but never mentioned that Brodsky prevented him from taking the witness stand.
Brodsky agreed that Peterson’s claims were or could have been raised in previous appeals and that higher courts have already ruled that there was nothing improper about the trial.
‘There´s nothing here,’ said Brodsky, whose law license was suspended for two years in 2019.
Peterson reiterated claims during a Dateline interview last year that his missing wife Stacy ‘ran off’ and that he had nothing to do with her disappearance.
Speaking to Natalie Morales from inside the Federal Correctional Institution, Terra Haute in Indiana, where he moved to in 2017, he maintained his innocence.
He told the outlet: ‘There’s so much that hasn’t been heard. Everybody on the opposition gets to talk, and I’m left in a cage.’
Stacy and Peterson pictured together during their relationship
In an interview with Dateline’s Natalie Morales (left), Peterson (right) talks about Stacy for the first time in 10 years
The pair began dating when Stacy was only a teenager and while Peterson was still married to Savio.
‘All these people are out looking for a place I know she’s not,’ he told Morales, who questioned how he knew.
‘Well, unless someone else threw her in a field somewhere, then, but I didn’t. So, why should I go look for-‘ he replied before Morales cut him off and asked again how he knew she wasn’t there.
‘I don’t know. I don’t know for sure, but I would believe she ran off’ he replied.
Source: Daily Mail