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. Americkan

    Jeez..no snickering at the media this time Drew. Just a bad cop that thought he was sooo much better than his peers.

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

      I would call him a sociopathic cop.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. getalotathis

    Occasionally, justice is served.

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

      Thank goodness.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  3. patricia

    Its about Time he thought since he was x cop he had it made. WISH THIS JURY WAS LITTLE CASEY ANTHONY. BUT CARMA BITES HARD.

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

      I am right there with you on this one.
      I am glad that he is finally getting what he deserves. He acts like he is bigger than God the way he struts around like he is a star. I hope he rots in prison and then in hell and I hope he gets the biggest boyfriend around in the prison. Make sure he feels the fear he put others through. And the fact he was a cop, they will probably keep him in solitary confinement. That takes all the joy out of him being in the shower and taking what he so justly deserves.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Gr8est

    The one issue here is the inclusion of "Hear say" evidence. I am afraid this has set a dangerous presidence for future trials. Someone can be convicted of murder because the murder victim told someone that told someone he said he would kill her!!! No physical evidence, no smoking gun, just hear say evidence!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      don't beat/ terrify your wife and you got nothing to worry about. it's all in state law. your pal is gone and will live alone for safety the rest of his pathetic life. now lets hope they go after the pals who swept this under the rug. all those marks and just talk about the one at the head? collusion. i actually had doubt it would be proved but as soon as it came out she was beat up on every side and the toilet bowl marks. bye bye piggie.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Maria Z

    Hurray!!! Justice is served. Hey Drew,take that bimbo child killer Casey Anthony with you!!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Pinky Mccall

    Bet he doesn't have that smug look on his ugly face any more. I am so glad that he got his in the end. I believe that he thought he would never get caught but he finally did. God bless this poor woman's family. They finally have justice and hopefully some closure. Big Bubba is waiting for his new bride named Drew Peterson and I hope he gets him asap !!!!!

    September 6, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Amber

    How come Im watching the deliberation still going on TV on CNN but on your website it says they finished deliberating?!

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

      You may be watching the West Coast CNN feed.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. IceMan

    Casey Anthony sends her condolences.

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

      I heard that too – apparently she has bought a teddy bear and covered its mouth with little stickers of kisses that she plans to send him in jail

      September 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mike

    Because someone is disappointed and expresses it doesn't mean they need to leave the country. Jesus.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. yep

    We'll see how that smugness pays off in prison

    September 6, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Joel

    Well he has grounds for appeal. At the end of the day, the prosecution still has no body.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      this was for the third wife who was found dead in the bathtub, not the missing wife.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      This wasn't a trial for killing his missing wife.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • malasangre

      really who did they exhume?

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

    he may have to have a very lonely -watched-small -cell...... "bad"cops do not due well in jail.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ed

    Funny how the defense team smoked their victory cigars after opening statements! What was in those things, crack? lol

    September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. bb

    How do you convict someone with no body I will never understand

    September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      this was for the third wife who was found dead in the bathtub, not the fourth wife who is still missing. Have you read any of the news?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • lilcritta2

      When somebody just disappears off the face of this earth (without any good reason), they are either A. dead or B. abducted by aliens. Which one makes more sense to you?

      September 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lilcritta2

    Best news I read a long time.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
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