Drew Peterson found guilty of murdering third wife
September 6th, 2012
04:53 PM ET

Drew Peterson found guilty of murdering third wife

[Updated at 5:19 p.m. ET] You can read full coverage of the guilty verdict in the Drew Peterson trial here.

[Updated at 4:57 p.m. ET] Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow told reporters that the journey to a guilty verdict has been a long one and he is confident it will stand against an appeal.

"This is a very sobering moment. I want to thank the jury," he said. "Their verdict is a transcendental one and makes a statement against violence against women."

Glasgow said that Peterson's actions represented a growing problem in the country.

"The defendant in this case was a coward and a bully," he said.

Glasgow said they have to catch their breath and then they will review evidence "aggressively" in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson.

HLN: 'I want to find Stacy Peterson's body," Nancy Grace says

He told reporters that Peterson's attitude as someone who was untouchable because of his badge and his gun led him to believe nobody would ever take him on.

"We took him on and we won," he said. "This defendant brutally killed Kathleen Savio."

[Updated at 4:53 p.m. ET] Will County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Ken Kaupas came out of the courthouse to read a statement from the jury.

The jurors thanked the court, the judge, the bailiffs and the sheriff's office and said they took their responsibility seriously.

"We have reached a decision we believe is just," the jurors said according to the statement.

[Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET] Drew Peterson's lawyer said they faced an uphill battle going into the trial and they will begin appealing the case soon.

“It was a stacked deck,” attorney Joel Brodsky said, referring to hearsay evidence that he didn’t believe should have been allowed in.

"You know what they say, a conviction is the first step in a successful appeal," Brodsky said.

Brodsky said he still believed that Peterson was completely innocent of the charges.

"This case was based almost entirely on hearsay," he said, adding that there was never a case with more issues for appeal than Peterson's. "There’s a reason why for hundreds of years its been excluded."

Brodsky added that the atmosphere around the courthouse, continuous cheers, showed that there was a large amount of bias before the trial even began.

HLN: Crowds cheer verdict

"When somebody is unpopular and going through a divorce… and people coming out of the woodwork … what are you going to do," he said.

Brodsky said that earlier he had spoken with Drew Peterson who said that whatever the verdict was, he was glad with how his lawyers did.

"He thanked us for our service," Brodsky said. "Drew is absolutely fine."

[Updated at 4:24 p.m. ET] Stacy Peterson's sister told reporters that she was numb after Drew Peterson was found guilty of murdering Kathleen Savio.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," Cassandra Cales said.

She said that as Peterson heard the words guilty, the only thing she could think was "Game over, Drew."

Cales said that searches for her sister, who has been missing since 2007, are still going strong. She hoped this guilty verdict might be the first step towards justice for Stacy.

"Drew’s put away, maybe someone will come forward who knows something about my sister, that they feel safe to talk now," she said.

Cales said that she always feels her sister's spirit around her and she felt it today in the courtroom.

"I love you and I miss you and I'm never going to give up on finding you," Cales said, when she was asked what she would say to her sister if she could.

[Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET] Kathleen Savio's nephew hailed the verdict as a culmination of eight long years for his family

"Today we finally got what we wanted," Michael Lisak told reporters.

Lisak said he was worried up until the very moment the verdict was announced. He hopes the verdict will help bring hope to other women.

"Today is a day for battered women. My aunt's voice was heard through the grave," Lisak said. "She did not stop after she was murdered. For all you battered women out there, don’t stop, someone will listen."

[Updated at 4:07 p.m. ET] Pamela Bosco, a spokesperson for the family of Drew Peterson's missing wife Stacy, said that hearing the guilty verdict was something she had waited a long time for.

"This man always thought he’d get away with it. I don’t think he ever faced reality," she said. "Today he’s facing reality. He’ll never see the outside of a prison wall."

Bosco said she thought that Peterson's actions during the verdict - blank stares towards the jury - showed how shocked he was. Bosco said she always believed Peterson would be found guilty in Kathleen Savio's murder, but hearing those words were another thing.

She said she expects Peterson to be indicted for the disappearance of Stacy Peterson soon.

"No matter what he still has to pay the price for Stacy," she said.

[Updated at 3:58 p.m. ET] Kathleen Savio's half-brother called the guilty verdict a "bittersweet moment" for his family.

"I’ll never have my sister again," Nicholas Savio said in front of the courthouse. "At least I know she got justice."

Nicholas Savio said that while he was upset that Kathleen Savio is no longer around, "we hope she can rest in peace."

HLN: Peterson's lawyer can go to hell, Savio's mom says

He then vowed that there was more work to be done to bring justice for Drew Peterson's missing wife.

"Stacy, you are now next for justice," Nicholas Savio shouted.

[Updated at 3:46 p.m. ET] An Illinois jury on Thursday found former Chicago-area police sergeant Drew Peterson guilty of murder in the 2004 death of his ex-wife.

"Finally somebody heard Kathleen's cry," her mother, Marcia Savio, told reporters after the verdict.

[Posted at 3:36 p.m. ET] The jury in the murder trial of Drew Peterson, a former Chicago-area police sergeant accused of killing his ex-wife, has reached a verdict after deliberating for nearly 14 hours total.

A jury of seven men and five women have focused on whether Peterson, 58, was responsible for the death of Kathleen Savio, his third wife, who was found dead in her dry, clean bathtub March 1, 2004.

Peterson pleaded not guilty and the defense contended Savio fell accidentally, hit her head and drowned.

He faces up to 60 years in prison.

The headline-grabbing case did not arise until after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in October 2007. It was during the search for Stacy Peterson, who has not been found, that investigators said they would look again at Savio's death, which was initially ruled a drowning.

Savio's death was ruled a homicide in February 2008, and Peterson was later arrested and indicted on two charges of first-degree murder. But during Judge Edward Burmila's instructions to the jury, he told them there was now one count.

Peterson was married to Savio in 2001 when he had an affair with then-17-year-old Stacy Cales, who later became his fourth wife. Savio and Peterson filed for divorce in October 2001 and their relationship remained contentious for the next several years.

Bolingbrook, Illinois, police records indicate officers were called to Savio's home 18 times to intervene in domestic fights from 2002 to 2004. Peterson had Savio arrested twice for domestic violence, though she was found not guilty in both cases.

Key moments in the Peterson trial

On February 27, 2004, Peterson picked up his two sons from Savio's home and spent the next two days with them. Prosecutors said he entered her home again early on February 29 and killed her.

At the time of her death, which authorities initially treated as an accident, a court was mulling how the couple's marital assets would be divided, and Savio was set to receive part of Peterson's pension and other support.

soundoff (478 Responses)
  1. Streetangel

    Put him in the same cell as Jerry Sandusky.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      The catholic priests that molest children should also be locked up with Sandusky, dont forget.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • CindyC

      Excellent idea!

      September 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BeverlyNC

    Finally justice is done for his 3rd wife – now let's convict for the killing of Stacy, his 4th wife, and find her body for her family. No more lies from this arrogant serial killer. No one deserves the death penalty than this psycho .

    September 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lynsey Pug

      Illinois doesn't have a death penalty.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jenna

    That's soooooooooo sad that guy should be aressed and put in prison for life he is guilty.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ED

    Thanks God because this monster, murder and killer will be able to kill another woman.!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  5. W.G.

    This Guy´s been thumbing his nose at the law for years . Throw him behind bars

    September 6, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. PJ

    He doesn't belong on the street. By putting him in prison other women will be spared.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. deep.jhopkins

    another republican voter down

    September 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      I support Obama, but that's a pathetic comment.

      September 6, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pa Bob

    About time!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  9. AceBLazin247

    So nothing on the 4th wife? No evidence as to what happened to her till this day? This crook is definitely guilty.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    Best news I've heard for a long time. Hope this would finally wipe that stupid smile off his face. Welcome to the big house you S of a B !!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lissterine

    Thank god

    September 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ED

    Thanks God because this monster, murder and killer will not be able to kill another woman.!!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. rog

    another republican gun nut is locked away

    September 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Beth

    About time it shows that law enforcement aren't above the law. I'm sure that's what he thought.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      and his local pals helped him. his own son was later fired as a cop because of his connection in some nefarious way.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. cool cecil

    Whether Peterson did this or not, it's time that people recognize the troublesome and truly horrifying aspect of this case, which is the creation of the so-called "Hearsay Law" or "Drew's Law". I mean come on, you cannot create a law just for one case. We all should be troubled that. Should never have happened. The implications are obvious.

    Look for this thing to be appealed all the way up to the US Supreme Ct. Don't be surprised if this Hearsay law gets overturned like it should.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      Supreme Court eh? good, that'll take 15 years. this old serial killer will be dead by then.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Amused

      cool – I have mixed feelings about the heresay law as well. However, in this particular case, there was more than enough heresay evidence from multiple collaborating witnesses that clearly showed a disturbing trend that seems to overshadow any notion that the heresay statements were untrue or inspired only by hate or revenge! In THIS case , I think the heresay evidence is as solid as heresay could ever be! If the heresay was only one statement by one person, then I mighht agree with you, but not in this case!

      September 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      weren't the RICO laws passed to allow the indictment of the Chicago 7?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
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