Saturday, April 21, 2018

Jury convicts Drew Peterson of 3rd wife's death

JOLIET, Ill. — Drew Peterson, the former Illinois police officer who gained notoriety after his much-younger wife vanished in 2007, was convicted Thursday of murdering a previous wife in a case centered on secondhand hearsay statements from both women.

Peterson, 58, sat stoically looking straight ahead and did not react as the judge announced jurors had found him guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her relatives gasped, then hugged each other as they cried quietly.

Illinois has no death penalty, and Peterson now faces a maximum 60-year prison term when sentenced Nov. 26.

The trial was the first of its kind in Illinois history, with prosecutors building their case largely on hearsay thanks to a new law, dubbed "Drew's Law," tailored to Peterson's case. That hearsay, prosecutors had said, would let his third and fourth wives "speak from their graves" through family and friends to convict Peterson.

A neighbor came across Savio's body on March 1, 2004. She was face down her dry bathtub, her thick, black hair soaked in blood and a 2-inch gash was on the back of her head.

The drowning death of the 40-year-old aspiring nurse was initially deemed an accident — a freak slip in the tub. After Peterson's fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007, Savio's body was exhumed, re-examined and her death reclassified as a homicide.

Drew Peterson had divorced Savio a year before her death. His motive for killing her, prosecutors said, was fear that a pending settlement, which included their $300,000 home, would wipe him out financially.

The 12 jurors deliberated for more than 13 hours before reaching a decision. Jurors didn't talk to reporters after the verdict.

Peterson's attorneys have said they may appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on grounds Illinois' hearsay law is unconstitutional.

Comments

Former NFL player's 1952 Mantle card sells for $2.88 million

A Mickey Mantle baseball card from 1952 was sold at auction for $2.88 million, nearly setting a record
Updated: 1 hour ago
Nats beat Dodgers 5-2 in uneven matchup of Scherzer, Kershaw

Nats beat Dodgers 5-2 in uneven matchup of Scherzer, Kershaw

Max Scherzer scattered four hits over six innings against Clayton Kershaw in the 13th all-time meeting of three-time Cy Young Award winners and the Nationals beat the Dodgers 5-2
Updated: 2 hours ago
Moreland hits slam, Red Sox top A's 7-3 for 8th straight win

Moreland hits slam, Red Sox top A's 7-3 for 8th straight win

Mitch Moreland hit a grand slam, Jackie Bradley Jr. added a three-run homer and the streaking Boston Red Sox won their eighth in a row, beating the Oakland Athletics 7-3
Updated: 2 hours ago
Haley's response: 'I don't get confused' draws notice

Haley's response: 'I don't get confused' draws notice

Nikki Haley's rebuttal to a putdown from a close adviser to Trump has been seized upon as a rallying cry among some women
Updated: 2 hours ago
Saudi Arabia uses ancient tourist site to alter its history

Saudi Arabia uses ancient tourist site to alter its history

Saudi Arabia is hoping to alter perceptions as it prepares to open the country to tourist visas and international tour groups later this year
Updated: 2 hours ago
Giuliani adds toughness, star power to legal team for Trump

Giuliani adds toughness, star power to legal team for Trump

With Rudy Giuliani on legal team, Trump gains a former U.S. attorney, a past presidential candidate and a TV-savvy defender
Updated: 2 hours ago
Giuliani adds toughness, star power to legal team for Trump

Giuliani adds toughness, star power to legal team for Trump

With Rudy Giuliani on legal team, Trump gains a former U.S. attorney, a past presidential candidate and a TV-savvy defender
Updated: 2 hours ago
Dems' lawsuit alleges conspiracy between Trump camp, Russia

Dems' lawsuit alleges conspiracy between Trump camp, Russia

Dems' lawsuit alleges conspiracy between Trump camp, Russia
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ross loses no-hit bid with 2 outs in 8th, Padres top D-backs

Ross loses no-hit bid with 2 outs in 8th, Padres top D-backs

Tyson Ross lost his bid to pitch the first no-hitter in San Diego Padres' history when center fielder Franchy Cordero appeared to misplay a ball with two outs in the eighth inning of a 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks
Updated: 2 hours ago
Romney seeks Utah Republican Party nomination at convention

Romney seeks Utah Republican Party nomination at convention

Mitt Romney has one of the best-known names in politics, but he still must face down nearly a dozen Utah contenders in his bid to restart his political career with a U.S. Senate seat
Updated: 2 hours ago