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. BLUEJEANSGIRL

    He looks such an a..hole, how he got those young pretty women to marry him in the first place..or even go out with him? he is so old and ugly..creepy.

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

      Maybe you should really take a good look in a mirror yourself. And if you did, maybe what you need to do is seek a second, third, and fourth unbiased opinions before making unqualified statements like that.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      It was a mistake...he didn't know the knife was loaded. It's been long enough, I think that he has learned his lesson....let him go....America is over populated anyway...let's all cheer for Casey Anthony as we are striving to reduce crimes on women....no one said anything about little girls...what a joke.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. awram

    If it walks like a duck..............So where was this jury during the Casey Anthony case?

    September 6, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • suziejoy

      totally agree with you!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb34203

      Like you said awram, what was the jury thinking in the Anthony case? I be no means expected them to return a guilty verdict. But thank God they did. Like so many women I'm sick to death of hearing about these men that get away with murdering their mate, whatever she may be. Drew was so arrogant with his actions, lets see how arrogant he will be now. Every one knows how prisoners enjoy it when a cop is put in the pen, I pray the sob gets what he gave Kathleen & Stacie. Anyone with any sense knows Stacie is dead, she never ran off with another man or anything else. He done to her what he done to Kathleen. Now that he will be put away maybe someone will feel safe enough to come forward with info. about her body. My heart goes out too both families. God be with them & rip Kathleen & Stacie.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      This piece of s–t got exactly what he deserved!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. shocker

    what an utter waste of taxpayer money. d!cks like him think they are above the law and play games with everyone, his own lawyers included. i really wish the whole system can be changed. it just doesn't work well. he still won't get even years down the road. this guy should have been behind bars years ago. no exuse for all this hoopla.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  4. tom

    That is the BEST news I've heard in months....hope he gets a state prison with lots of Buuba's. Chico's and Daryl's...and not some cushy ex-cop protective country club joint. He needs to meet up with the aforementioned boys for some good ole rump roastin.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. FORMER CORRECTIONS OFFICER

    I KNOW FOR SURE HE KNOWS THE MEANING OF "PROTECTIVE CUSTODY". FIRST IT'S "SUICIDE WATCH, THEN PROTECTIVE CUSTODY FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE. IT'S LIKE BEING LOCKED IN A ROOM WITH ALL YOUR WORST RELATIVES, EXCEPT THE OTHERS ARE PROBABLY JUST AS BAD. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE FOR HIM HE WAS A FORMER COP, SO HIS CHANCES OF MIXING WITH OTHERS IS NOT IN HIS FUTURE. HIS FUTURE WILL PROBABLY BE AN 8' X 10" FOOT CELL FOR MOST OF HIS REMAINING LIFE, WHICH IS ALMOST A PROLONGED DEATH SENTENCE. THIS IS JUSTICE,BECAUSE HE GETS TO THINK ABOUT WHAT HE DID 24 HRS A DAY. PROBABLY WILL BE SOME ATTEMPTED SUICIDE IN THE NEAR FUTURE. LETS HOPE HE FAILS, BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE AN EASY OUT FOR HIM. HIM ,THINKING ABOUT HIS CRIME IS JUSTICE FOR US.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugh J.

      Whoa! Ease up on the Caps Lock there, Warden. We can all hear you just fine without it.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Deb34203

      Amen

      September 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jack

    I remember back when they used to convict people using evidence.. The good ole days.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • mhart123

      You left the "A-S-S" ending off your name, Jack.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1twinsfan

      Yeah and I remember when drowned in a dry bathtub. Oh wait, they don't.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • upside down

      Totally agree, Jack. There was no physical evidence. Oh, well. I guess if my neighbor had a car I said I would like and it was stolen, I better get out of Dodge.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • cool cecil

      .... THE best line of the whole thread!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      It's not ass....it's Meoff...

      September 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bada Bing

    There shouldn't be any lethal injection nor any electric chair nor firing squad. I think a public drowning in a bathtub would be appropriate !!!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LeRoy Jones

    Chicag-area MY BUTT !!!

    Bolingbrook is 45 miles SW of Chicago.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • bwm

      CNN is national news, so people in... lets say, Cheyenne, Wyoming, they don't know, or ever heard of Bolingbrook, thats why they just make it easier and say Chicago area. .....ps, I live in Palos.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christopher Espino

      Yeah, i think chicagoland includes some 50 to 60-mile radius of Chicago. Otherwise, how else will Bolingbrook be known if one doesn't use Chicago as a reference point. That's how big Chicago is!

      September 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. La

    Wow I'm surprissed they found him guilty, not because he probably is but due to the messy evidence and his ties to the police force and their crummy reviewing of the case when they found her. Its nice to see justice does exist.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • shocker

      when your on wife number 4 who's young enough to be your daughter and your third is dead, now the 4th is missing. yeah kinda think that his character isn't looking so hot.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lisa

    Women don't just disappear. When it comes to people like this, they don't understand. It's a whole different world. You can't hide murder.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • mhart123

      You may not be able to HIDE murder... but that doesn't necessarily mean you can find someone guilty. People unfortunately walk all too often in these type of cases. Luckily they convicted Drew in this case. Didn't hurt to have Stacy Peterson's priest testify against him. Also didn't hurt that Savio's death was 2 days after Drew moved out.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • JB

      You're right...women don't just disappear, my wife is still here...Nagging.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ALLAMERICAN

    Not a surprise at all. The judical system wasted millions of tax payers dollars for this case. Nobody likes this guy by any means but it all seems like a deliberate & staged.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • mhart123

      AllAmerican Idiot... thanks for your 2 cents. See ya later.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Really?

    BOOOMMMM!!!! I just hope this doesn't get reversed on appeal. Sick p.o.s. thought he could get away with it twice.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  13. FISH FRY

    Wow, what a surprise. He looks like such a nice guy whose wives keep disappearing for no good reason.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Panties

      I am fortunate. My wife disappeared all the way back to Mexico.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Larry

    That will get turned around on appeal. Only 14 exceptions to the hearsay rule, this legislative act that allowed it, is not one of them.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mhart123

    At least the appeals process will take years.... meanwhile... he will continue to sit in prison. Nice ... pleased about that.

    September 6, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21