Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow speaks outside the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, after a jury convicted former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson of murdering his wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. He faces a maximum 60-year prison term when sentenced on Nov. 26. Illinois has no death penalty. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
Peterson case shifts to appeal, missing 4th wife
Stacy Peterson » The body has never been found; her husband is a suspect but hasn’t been charged.
First Published Sep 07 2012 12:02 pm • Last Updated Sep 07 2012 12:03 pm

Joliet, Ill. • She loomed over Drew Peterson’s murder trial, though her disappearance and the suspicion that the former Illinois police officer killed her was never mentioned in front of the jury.

But since jurors found Peterson guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, could now take center stage.

Photos
Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

"We are going to aggressively review that case with an eye towards potentially charging it," Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow told reporters outside the Joliet courthouse shortly after jurors convicted Drew Peterson of killing Savio.

While Peterson faces up to 60 years in prison, the legal issues surrounding the accusations against him may be far from resolved. In addition to the separate Stacy Peterson case, his attorneys have vowed to appeal Thursday’s conviction based on the unprecedented amount of secondhand hearsay evidence entered at trial. One of them vowed to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Peterson, 58, was only charged in Savio’s death after his fourth wife vanished in 2007. Stacy Peterson is presumed dead, though her body has never been found. Her husband is a suspect in her disappearance but has never been charged in the case.

Stacy Peterson’s sister, in court to hear the guilty verdict Thursday, sounded optimistic that charges in her sister’s case would soon follow.

"He’ll be charged. It’ll come," Cassandra Cales said.

Savio family was as relieved and excited Thursday as Stacy Peterson’s family was hopeful. As she stepped out of the crowded courtroom minutes after the verdict, Savio’s sister, Susan Doman, threw herself into the arms of her husband.

"Finally, finally, finally," Mitch Doman, Savio’s brother-in-law, said as he and his wife cried. Seconds later, he looked up at a reporter and said with a smile, "We finally got that murdering bastard!"

Glasgow drew cheers from the crowd gathered outside the courthouse.


story continues below
story continues below

"He was a thug," Glasgow said of Peterson, his voice rising in indignation. "He would threaten people because he had a gun and a badge. Nobody would take him on, but we took him on and he lost."

As Glasgow prepares for a Nov. 26 sentencing hearing for Peterson — during which he is certain to ask the judge to impose a sentence close to the maximum 60-year prison term — he strongly hinted that many of the things he was forbidden from saying in front of the jury about Stacy Peterson’s 2007 disappearance will be part of his presentation.

Among evidence prosecutors could present at sentencing is that Stacy Peterson, like Savio before her, feared Peterson might kill her. Then there was a man, Thomas Morphey, who testified at a 2010 hearing that he helped move a blue barrel that he later came to believe contained the body of Stacy Peterson.

Stacy Peterson’s disappearance was the reason Glasgow’s office reopened the investigation into Savio’s death, which ultimately led to Peterson’s conviction Thursday. Glasgow’s office long has maintained that Stacy Peterson did not just leave on her own and that they not only believe she is dead but that Drew Peterson killed her.

Glasgow said that the case against Peterson in his fourth wife’s death is getting nothing but stronger.

"The longer any person is gone, the easier it is to prove that they haven’t just simply run away, that they are deceased," he said. "Oct. 27, 2007, (when she disappeared) is way in our rearview mirror."

Peterson’s attorneys promised to appeal his conviction, partly because of the reliance on hearsay evidence. It not only included Savio’s family members testifying that she feared Peterson would kill her and make it look like an accident. It also included testimony from Stacy Peterson’s pastor and a divorce attorney about comments Stacy Peterson made that she believed her husband killed Savio.

"It’s a dark day in America when you can convict somebody on hearsay evidence," said Joe Lopez, one of Peterson’s attorneys.

Juror Ron Supalo said the sheer volume of testimony persuaded him to vote to convict Peterson.

"I think I counted at least 10 of them with the hearsay and then the circumstantial evidence," Supalo said.

Attorneys suggested they will fight the conviction on two fronts. First, they contend that the judge allowed hearsay evidence he should have been barred even under the new state law. Second, they said, they will fight the law itself.

Next Page >


Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.