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. Bukoo

    As I said yesterday, now the smirk will be wiped off the face of those stupid arrogant defense attorneys and the MURDERER himself (Drew Peterson). He thought he was going to get away with this. And just to put the last nail in his coffin, if he thinks he's going to have the case overturned on appeal, then think again, he's going, going, gone. I'm just sorry that they don't have the death penalty in the state of Illinois, because he certainly deserves it. However, he will suffer more living with those wonderful people he will be around for the rest of his life. And I hope he lives to the ripe old age of 100 in a hell hole where he should be. Bye bye ass@#$% have a nice life. And may God bless and give comfort to the loved ones and the family's of those he brutalized.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      There's not going to be a reversal based on prosecutorial error, thankfully.
      Nor on the hearsay evidence either; when the Appellate court handed down its decision to et the evidence in, his own attorneys didn't appeal, so...
      You're right.
      He is where he should be!

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

      This will be overturned. Convicted by the media with ZERO evidence.

      Drew will be free once again!!!

      Obama 2012!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • loriey

      finally a jury with brains......Peterson thought he was untouchable, he smiled, joked, laughed, chewed gum, danced around & mugged for teh camera. & made a mockery of the lawy he was supposed to uphold.
      He was a cop, yet he would not go into Savio's home to "see if she was alraight"...he set it up to have someone else find Kathy Savio's dead body in a dry bath tub. He knew that bath tub leaked, he had to know, he lived in the house with her at one time.....yet the bruises on her body told a different story.

      Stacy is still missing & more than like the 2nd victim of his abuse....don't even think about trying to leave Drew Peterson...no one steps on Drew Peterson. Sadly the children will have to grow up without a mother due to Drew's "efforts". Their father is going to jail & they will all be raised by different grandparents.

      Being a former police Sargeant, he will be kept in protective custody...sometimes there is no justice. He will be treated better than the otehr inmates will ever be treated as well, no doubt about it.

      Guilty of murder, thank God.....but all too little too late. Drew, WHERE is Stacy Peterson??????

      September 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      He was convicted of murder by a jury, not the media...nice try, OJ.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreeDrewNow

      @loriey ....so you are a former police "Sargent?" I think someone who held that role would most likely know how to spell it, so stop your bull sh it ting.

      You are just sore that you know this guy is innocent and he will be freed soon. A simple appeal turns over cases with no evidence and a dense jury.

      Hey – maybe they are all former police Sargents!!!! LOLOLOLOL

      Obama baby is the only one for all of us. Worship him.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreeDrewNow

      @banasy©

      A jury tainted by the media is a jury not. It will be overturned.

      Justice is always done correctly even when some simple mistakes are made.

      BarackObama.com 2012 baby!

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

      Well great. I hope someday he will confess where he put Stacey too. Sad Sad Sad and how he has brainwashed his kid.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Yes, good riddance to that silly smirk, and the arrogant lawyers, who thought this case would propel them to stardom. Now that he has been found guilty, his pension disappears. His lawyers are shouting "appeal, appeal!" but we all know, that now that the money has run out, so will they. Perhaps a public defender will handle this appeal. For the past 3 years, he has lived in a county jail, awaiting trial. Now as a convicted ex-cop in a state prison, his new home will be in protective custody, which basically means solitary confinement. Hey Drew: when another inmate delivers you your food, how much spit, urine and feces do you think will find it's way in there?

      September 6, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scotchguard

      @FreeDrewNow, don't link the situation of Drew Peterson with Obama. Obama would not want this misogynistic murderer to go free.

      September 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jon

    This should wipe that smirk off his face!

    September 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Southernsugar

    It's about time a jury got it right. Now he needs to be tired for the murder of his fourth wife, Stacey.

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

      My sisiter use to date this looser.. Yes she is safe and accountable. Thnak god.

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

      Hey Matthew – you should ask your sister to proofread your posts for spelling errors.

      Free Drew – he is innocent.

      Obama 2012!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreeDrewNow

      Hey Matthew – you should ask your sister to proofread your posts for spelling errors.

      Free Drew – he is innocent.

      Obama 2 0 1 2!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Marine57

    Thank you, jury, for doing a good job in serving our legal system in our quest for justice.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Frank

    "Peterson had Savio arrested twice for domestic violence"

    Let's not forget the guilt of the police officers who were complicit in protecting Drew Peterson. You can't simply "have someone arrested". He called his buddies, and they arrested his wife. What are their names? Were they investigated?

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

      All fake trumped up evidence. In fact – NO evidence.

      Let Drew out...he did no wrong.

      Obama 2012
      OJ in 2016!

      September 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. matthew

    hi from canada. Keep the bacon sizzling and the eggs sunny side up. Whitaial Season just upened up for aechery.. A typical deer in these here parts scores 140. The Big ones ger 180 oe even past 200 inches. MY My american pie.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. paula

    These posts sound exactly like the posts I read about me when I was convicted of murder and then the body was found and the real killer was found and has since been executed. Shame on you all!

    September 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Um, he was convicted of killing his wife, Kathleen Savio, whose body was found in a bathtub...
      Troll on, my friend.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • FreeDrewNow

      Not to worry – this will be overturned. You are correct. The real killers are out there, just like the real killers of Nicole Brown SImpson and Ronald Goldman.

      Free Drew. Free OJ.

      Obama 2012

      September 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marion

      Paula, he was conviced of killing Kathleen Savio not stacy.....there WAS body.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. old golfer

    A cop a bully, imagine that.

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

      Everyone hates police officers until they need one.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  9. CaptHowdy

    Duh! What do you expect? With international coverage, serveral TV shows and 2 movies proclaiming his guuilt.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  10. pattysboi

    He's going where he belongs, in prison. It will NOT be pleasant for him, as he put people in prison. Now he'll see what it's really like.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. John Tucker

    Motive.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. BP

    Couldnt get in to SI comments so i just wanted to say that Peter King is a gay rod! ha ha ha

    September 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. watcher

    Stacy driving along scared alone. Tracks on left. Peteson suspects she leaving to report how 'connected' he is. Connections drive along around her. Later, Peterson doesn't ask them where she's at.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. justiceforall

    FINALLY !!! HOW MANY MORE WOMEN/WIVES WOULD HE HAVE KILLED IF HE WERE NOT CONVICTED ??

    THANK GOD HE WAS FOUND GUILTY !!! ONE LESS DIRTBAG ON THE STREETS ABUSING WOMEN AND KILLING THEM !!!

    WAIT UNTIL THE PRISONERS FIND OUT THEY HAVE A COP IN THEIR MIST !!! LOL :))) BEND OVER DREW – IT"S TIME FOR YOU TO PAY UP !!!

    September 6, 2012 at 6:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      Turn off your CAPS, you ate SHOUTING.

      September 6, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Biz

    As soon as word spreads in prison that there's an ex-cop walking around, shanks will be coming out of the woodwork, and that's if he's lucky.

    September 6, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
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