Jury convicts Drew Peterson in 3rd wife's death

Print
Email
|

Associated Press

Posted on September 6, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 6 at 5:01 PM

JOLIET, Illinois (AP) — It was a case that was based mainly on second-hand hearsay evidence -- but that didn't keep a jury in Illinois today from convicting Drew Peterson of murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Jurors deliberated for more than 13 hours before reaching a decision.

The trial was the first of its kind in state history, with prosecutors given some new leeway in the evidence they were able to use, thanks to a new state law that was tailored specifically to the case. It allowed them to introduce statements from Savio and from Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, who disappeared in 2007.

Peterson looked straight ahead and didn't react as the verdict was read. Several of Savio's relatives gasped before hugging each other and crying quietly in the courtroom.

A defense lawyer says Peterson is saddened by the verdict, but that he didn't say much. He says the defense will appeal -- and that the law allowing the use of the hearsay evidence "has to be changed."

Peterson faces a maximum 60 years behind bars.

Prosecutors suspect Peterson killed his fourth wife, Stacy, because she knew of his involvement in the death of his third wife. But no charges have been filed in Stacy Peterson's disappearance, and her body has never been found.

Authorities first considered Savio's death to be an accident -- but the case was reopened after Stacy Peterson disappeared.

%@AP Links

309-a-09-(Nick Savio, half-brother of victim Kathleen Savio, with reporters)-"your damn life"-Nick Savio says Drew Peterson got what he deserved. ((contains the word "damn")) (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *309 (09/06/12)>> 00:09 "your damn life"

310-a-07-(Marcia Savio, mother of victim Kathleen Savio, with reporters)-"anybody else anymore"-Marcia Savio says Drew Peterson is going to prison, where he belongs. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *310 (09/06/12)>> 00:07 "anybody else anymore"

308-a-12-(Marcia Savio, mother of victim Kathleen Savio, with reporters)-"oh thank God"-Marcia Savio says she is grateful for those responsible for the guilty verdict against the man accused of killing her daughter. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *308 (09/06/12)>> 00:12 "oh thank God"

307-a-07-(Nick Savio, half-brother of victim Kathleen Savio, with reporters)-"killer up there"-Nick Savio says a guilty verdict for the man accused of killing his half-sister is a bittersweet victory. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *307 (09/06/12)>> 00:07 "killer up there"

294-c-08-(Don Babwin, AP correspondent)-"hug each other"-AP correspondent Don Babwin reports those close to the victim, Kathleen Savio, were emotional after the verdict was read. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *294 (09/06/12)>> 00:08 "hug each other"

292-c-12-(Don Babwin, AP correspondent)-"didn't stand up"-AP correspondent Don Babwin reports Drew Peterson did not react after the guilty verdict was read in his murder trial. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *292 (09/06/12)>> 00:12 "didn't stand up"

293-c-08-(Don Babwin, AP correspondent)-"no visible reaction"-AP correspondent Don Babwin reports Drew Peterson showed no emotion after the verdict was read and he was found guilty. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *293 (09/06/12)>> 00:08 "no visible reaction"

295-c-09-(Don Babwin, AP correspondent)-"in state prison"-AP correspondent Don Babwin reports Drew Peterson faces a long prison term. (6 Sep 2012)

<<CUT *295 (09/06/12)>> 00:09 "in state prison"

GRAPHICSBANK: Drew Peterson, former Bolingbrook police officer, arriving at Will County Courthouse in Joliet for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his former wife Kathleen Savio, on texture with CONVICTED lettering, finished graphic (6 Sep 2012)

APPHOTO ILMG114: Marcia Savio, step-mother of Kathleen Savio cries outside the Will County Courthouse after word that former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson was found guilty of murdering his third wife Kathleen Savio Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, in Joliet, Ill. Marcia Savio is accompanied by Kathleen Savio's half-brother Nicholas Savio. Jurors convicted Peterson of murdering his third wife Thursday, capping a sensational, five-year legal saga that began after the swaggering former Illinois police officer's fourth wife vanished. Peterson, 58, faces a maximum 60-year prison term when sentenced. Illinois has no death penalty. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green) (6 Sep 2012)

<<APPHOTO ILMG114 (09/06/12)>>

APPHOTO CX101: FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson yells to reporters as he arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his former wife Kathleen Savio. A jury on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, found Peterson guilty of murdering his third wife. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File) (8 May 2009)

<<APPHOTO CX101 (05/08/09)>>

APPHOTO CX102: FILE - This Nov. 8, 2007 file photo taken from video shows the grave site of Kathleen Savio at the Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in Hillside, Ill. Savio was the third wife of former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson who was convicted of her murder Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill. (AP Photo/Mark Carlson, File) (8 Nov 2007)

<<APPHOTO CX102 (11/08/07)>>

Print
Email
|