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. JT

    Ex cop, becoming an ex-con what a career move. A speical treat for the inmates.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reason

      not much different between the two.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • hatebreedshate

      He will probably also be someone's ex-girlfriend in prison.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • kim

      yay!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Safe in Texas

      @reason – sure hope you never need one. No, I take that back – I hope you are in dire need and they ignore the dickens out of you!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Robocop4000

    What an uninteresting trial. Zzzzzz. I could care less. ooohhh he killed his wife. Like that's never happened before. This trial was boring compared to Casey Anthony's.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Was it supposed to be entertainment for you? Moron, people were killed, get over yourself.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Oilers1

    Marzxyz ... couldn't have said it any better. This outa wipe that smug smile off his face....hope he get's greased in prison

    September 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ecovelle

    Maybe this has already been answered but what happened to his first 2 wives?

    September 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Lisa

    I used to work in a convenience store at night. The friiekazoids I used to see, and the policeman were all over her. I know it's not the way it should be, Most policeman are honest. They should have been taking her to jail.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Scotchguard

    Drew Peterson didn't do himself any favors by commenting in public several times before his trial. He came off looking arrogant, rude, and guilty as sin.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert

    I think they ought to execute him by mutilation in the town square. A good method from medevil times would be "the wheel." The wheel was performed by tying the condemned prisoner spread eagle onto a large wooden wagon wheel, laying him horizontal and then dropping heavy weights onto him; first on his knees, arms and legs, in order to break them and make the evil man suffer. Finally, when he's delerious with pain, the executioner might have mercy by dropping a heavy weight either on his head or chest to kill him. That ought to be a deterant and it's about what this piece of human crap deserves.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. hatebreedshate

    Looks like Drew is going to be someone's girlfriend soon! Have in solitary, murdering pig!

    September 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. RealityInc

    Quote: Bolingbrook, Illinois, police records indicate officers were called to Savio's home 18 times to intervene in domestic fights from 2002 to 2004.
    -–
    Why was this man not fired from his job for this alone? No police officer should be allowed to have his coworkers respond to his house 18 times for domestic violence and not be kicked off the police force. He was unfit for duty and had an unfair advantage over his victims since he worked for the very department that responded, unreal...

    September 6, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Huckster55

    Finally!!! This guy and his always sly smile is guilty!!! I hope he gets the death penalty. He has murdered more than once. He thought he was above the law. Now he shall pay.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Craig

    yeah, bet his low life friends aint backing him up now, pity they didnt have the balls to stand up to him back then, it could have saved a life of his 4th wife

    September 6, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe

    The verdict was transcendental....it even rose above dentists.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      LMAO!!!! He meant transcendant!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joseph

    Sounds like it was a kangaroo court. When public opinion doles out justice, civilization nears an end. If he is in fact a murderer, then prove it. Hearsay evidence is inadequate. Tired of courts being run by hysterical soccer-moms with torches & pitchforks. Peterson, guilty, male, abrasive, alleged victim was female. Anthony not guilty, female, pretty, hell with the victim.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • BR

      wow could not agree more

      September 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jim Weix

    Too many dead wives to be an accident. Sounds like the old "Brothers-in-Arms" thinking kept police from doing a good job.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • BR

      then make the police force less corrupt, don't make laws that allow HEARSAY evidence!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Kops

    I've never seen a high profile cop so into flaunting and insensitive to their families in the death and disappearance of his wives. It's almost criminal in way for what he's done to the public confidence of law enforcement. What a very
    unlikeable creep for a good reason.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
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