Drew Peterson, the former Chicago cop who is in prison for killing his wife, was found guilty on Tuesday of attempting to hire someone to murder the prosecutor for his case, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Drew Peterson is currently serving a 38-year term for killing his wife, and he could get up to 60 more years in prison for trying to hire someone to murder the prosecutor. In a prison recording of Peterson, he was heard saying he wanted the prosecutor to be killed. Antonio Smith, Peterson’s fellow inmate, helped in getting the recording.
“It’s the defendant’s own words that prove him guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” said Steve Nate of the Illinois attorney general’s office, according to New York Daily News.
Smith convinced Peterson he had arranged for the prosecutor, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, to be killed and got him to say he’s okay with the plan going ahead.
“I told him what you said, that it’s the green light on, that basically go ahead and kill him,” Smith said in the recording. “That’s what you wanted, right?… It ain’t no turning back.”
“OK, all right. I’m in,” Peterson responds. “From the first time we talked about it, there was no turning back…. If I get some booze in here, we’ll celebrate that night.”
Peterson pleaded not guilty to attempting to hire someone to murder the prosecutor.
Peterson’s lawyer argued that the recording doesn’t actually show Peterson saying he wants the prosecutor killed, but the jury was convinced that is what he meant.
Peterson is currently 62, so he will likely spend the rest of his life in prison. The murder of his wife, Kathleen Savio, occurred in 2004.
Savio’s death was thought to have been an accident until Peterson’s next wife went missing in 2007. Once investigators started looking into that disappearance, the case around Savio’s death was reopened. Peterson has not been charged with any crime connected to his last wife’s disappearance. Smith told prosecutors Peterson was worried about being charged with another crime.
Kathleen Savio was Peterson’s third wife, and they married in 1992, according to CNN. The two started dating while Peterson was still married, but Savio did not know that at the time.
Savio and Peterson had two children, and it started as a healthy relationship. As it went on, things started to become tumultuous. Some have claimed Peterson physically abused Savio. Savio received an anonymous letter in 2001 saying Peterson was cheating on her with a 17-year-old girl named Stacy Cales.
Savio and Peterson split in 2002, and police were called to Savio’s home 18 times in response to domestic problems.
Stacy Cales and Peterson were together when Savio died in 2004. Savio was found dead in a bath tub, and there was no water in the tub. Cales and Peterson had two children together.
Antonio Smith, the inmate who recorded Peterson saying he wanted to kill the prosecutor, also said Peterson admitted to him that he killed Savio, according to the Associated Press. Smith did not say anything about Peterson admitting to killing Cales.
Savio’s murder was confirmed when a second autopsy in 2009 showed she had died during a struggle.
Besides having been an officer for decades before he went to prison for murder, Peterson is also a veteran of the U.S. Army. Peterson had two wives before Savio, Carol Brown and Victoria Connolly. Brown divorced Peterson after four years of marriage because of cheating. Connolly divorced Peterson after claiming he was abusive, and he started dating Savio before the divorce.
Beyond possibly being worried he would be charged with killing Cales, Peterson was reportedly upset that Glasgow had attempted to have his $79,000 police pension revoked.
[Photo by M. Spencer Green/AP Images]