Last Chance For Drew Peterson to Dodge Prison Sentence For Wife Murder
If Drew Peterson doesn't win his hearing for a new murder trial this week, the judge is packing him off to prison.
Drew Peterson has one more shot to dodge a trip to Stateville, and it all comes down to a hearing scheduled to start Tuesday morning.
After more than three and a half years in the Will County jail and a five-week trial that wrapped up in September, the disgraced former Bolingbrook cop's lawyers will try to convince Judge Edward Burmila to give him a do-over.
And that's not all—matters from a wrongful death lawsuit filed against Peterson by his slain third wife's family will be shoehorned into the proceedings. And one of Peterson's current attorneys, Steve Greenberg, expects to argue that Judge Burmila should sanction former Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky.
But wait—there's more. Peterson's lawyers plan to call Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, who was the lead prosecutor during the Peterson murder trial, as a witness at this week's hearing. Glasgow does not want to take the stand and has already filed a motion claiming that, as a prosecutor, special steps must be taken to force him to testify. He maintains Peterson's attorneys have failed to take those steps.
Peterson was convicted of murdering Kathleen Savio, his third wife, who was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. The attorneys still representing Peterson have blamed Brodsky for blowing the trial, both through his poor performance in the courtroom and by compromising Peterson's interests by entering into a publicity contract long before prosecutors even brought charges.
Brodsky, who claims to have voluntarily quit Peterson's defense team after losing the murder case, will likely have to testify at this week's hearing. Prosecutors may have to argue that Brodsky did an adequate job of lawyering in the losing effort.
Judge Burmila has set aside two days for the hearing, but some involved expect it to last much longer. If, at the hearing's conclusion, Burmila decides against granting a new trial, he said he will head straight to Peterson's sentencing.
Prosecutors have said they plan to call Peterson's second wife and one of his six children to testify against him at the tentatively scheduled sentencing hearing.
Second wife Victoria Connolly has previously said under oath that Peterson threatened to kill her and make her death look like an accident. She also told of Drew Peterson holding a gun to her head and breaking into her locked house while she slept.
Eric Peterson, who was born to Peterson's first wife, Carol Hamilton, has already testified that he witnessed his father viciously attack Savio.
If there is a sentencing hearing, prosecutors are also expected to bring up the circumstances surrounding the mysterious disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.
Stacy Peterson remains missing. In November 2007, an Illinois State Police captain said detectives considered her disappearance a "potential homicide" and that Drew Peterson was the sole suspect in the investigation. In the more than five years since then, the state police have yet to charge Peterson with harming Stacy.