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. Bolaji09

    The arrogance of this guy! Hit him with the FULL weight of the law!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CindyC

    One word......YES!!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  3. aflyer

    He was arrogant because he is innocent. I would be too. No direct evidence linking him to the crime. No body to proce he killed stacy either. They should let him go.if dumb broads want to trust and marry him they got what they deserved.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      "if dumb broads want to trust and marry him they got what they deserved"

      How did they "get what they deserved" if he is innocent? FOOL.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lukeskywalkr

      Troll or just plain stupid? Either way, you're a dink.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Broadcasting

      The heartbreak of illiteracy.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gloria

      The reason there is no direct evidence is because he worked for the police department that would have collected the evidence. If his buddies on the police force hadn't been the ones investigating the crime they would have evidence.

      September 6, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  4. skog

    If Drew did this than justice served. Everyone should find this very disturbing that one coroner found the death to be accidental and after three years another found it to be murder. Also the fact that a "hearsay" law was passed should cause concern also . One could easly say anything in anger , revenge , whatever and then it can be used in court. This is a major concern for our Libertys and the justice system.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lukeskywalkr

      It's pretty simple. Two dead wives is not a coincidence. Give him the key to Chicago if they find Stacy alive. Mark my words–they won't.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gloria

      The disturbing thing is that since Peterson was a police officer he had enough influence on the coroner that they ruled it as an accident when it was obviously not. This same influence is the reason they had no evidence because since he was a police officer they trusted him and didn't investigate her death properly and collected no evidence from the crime scene.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Rot in hell copper!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sandra K. Brislin

    Yes, Chicago. A jury that can figure the obvious out without being swayed by the defendant's creepy attorneys who take money to represent a murderer of women.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sean

    Awesome. Have fun with 23 hour lockdown, 7 days a week Drew. That's what happens to people like you in prison, it's for your own safety, being a cop and all.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Amanda

    Now, we demand an investigation into what happened at the Bolingbrook police department where Peterson also worked. There was a huge cover up for "one of their own" in 2004 that should now be exposed

    September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. digimanx2

    @ "pork&beans" SO true regarding trying to convict law enforcement

    September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ImIrish

    I was afraid we were going to have another "OJ" moment!

    Good for the jury seeing through all of Peterson's lies!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry Weiss

      Unlikely since Peterson is white

      September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. pbernasc

    there is real justice in the USA. The guy is a real jerk .. and may be he did it, but convincing on pure speculation is typical of witch hunts, not of a justice system, that claims to be based on rationale and evidence.

    Middle Ages ... one more step toward the oblivion of the US.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sherri

    Finally, this animal will pay for what he has done. Too bad there wasn't this same jury for the Casey Anthony trial.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Happyashail!

    Well we know now the people on jurys there, are alot smarter than the ones in Florida. Those idiots wouldnt have got it if they seen a video of what Casey did.Good going,finally JUSTICE at work!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Norm

    Let me guess......
    Mr. Peterson is an upstanding member of the community and a fine Christian conservative.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • ImIrish

      Norm – Please provide a verifiable link to confirm that Drew Peterson was an upstanding member of his community and a fine Christian conservative.

      Thanks in advance for the undeniable proof.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jadednurse

    This entire murder was botched from the beginning, with Savio's death being ruled a drowning when she was found in a clean, dry bathtub. What was in her lungs? Any water? If not, it was not a drowning. Plus, she had damage to her skull which indicated a possible murder. Many said that the hearsay will get him off in the appeal. Hearsay is relevant when the person who said it is dead, as in Savio's case and, most likely, Stacy's case. It is acceptable to use in order for the victim to 'present their story'. To me, coupled with police reports, the hearsay is acceptable. Perhaps it was to the members of this jury as well. My only hope is that they find Stacy's body and can try him on her murder, although I believe that there is enough evidence to prove him guilty, with the other person stating that he helped Peterson move a drum that would have been big enough for Stacy to have been shoved inside and weighed about right. Add in what Stacy told her friends and family, Peterson could be found guilty for her murder as well. I wish so. Well done, Chicago jury.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Indiana

      So now we convict people on what anyone says! Do you know what that will do to our justice system! He may be guilty but we should have proved that with physical evidence. I can't believe the comments on this board thinks this is right.

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