Drew Peterson has been sentenced to 38 years in prison, and during a dramatic hearing, the former Bolingbrook officer who inspired a Lifetime movie over the disappearances and deaths of two of his wives screamed out in anger at his fate.
Drew Peterson’s sentencing comes after years of intrigue, denials and frustration on the part of the families of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson. The Chicago Tribune reported upon the tense and at times seemingly out of control hearing in which Drew Peterson received his sentence — a term that could have been more than two decades longer, had a judge not weighted the decision against military service and Peterson’s lengthy law enforcement career.
According to the paper, Peterson began speaking but started screaming when the denial was issued, saying in court:
“Good day, my name is Drew Peterson. I hope I don’t aggravate the situation here, but I have a lot of things to be said … I did not kill Kathleen!”
It is reported that the outburst, before Drew Peterson’s sentence was handed down, was answered by an unnamed woman in the courtroom who simply replied:
“Yes, you did.”
The judge who sentenced Peterson chided both, ejecting the woman and chastising Peterson:
“Ma’am, I’d like you to leave the courtroom … And Mr. Peterson, don’t make any outbursts that are designed to aggravate people.”
Peterson then apologized, saying he “must have been woozy.” In the course of the sentencing, he spoke at length of what he believes are a series of judicial missteps and violations of constitutional protections, telling the court that privileged information gleaned in conversations with a divorce lawyer were hearsay, and adding far later:
“I was probably one of the highest decorated officers in the Bolingbrook Police Department … And in telling you [of relatives of Peterson], I’m not looking for any sympathy, but anything you sentence me to, you’re sentencing me to the department of corrections to die!
Peterson also added:
“I’m an obnoxious man by nature, truly. And after 30 years as a police officer, as is normal with police officer, my defense mechanism is comedy. The media took that and capitalized on that, and my obnoxious nature showed through. But I want to ensure the court that at no time did I want to portray any insensitivity about Kathy’s death. That was not my intention … Never forget my face! Never forget what you’ve done.”
“Originally I had some cute and funny things to say. But now in closing, it’s time to be sentenced to a life of hardship and abuse in prison. I don’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this … Thank you.”
Sister of Kathleen Salvio Susan Doman also spoke, lambasting Drew Peterson for courting attention in the wake of her sister’s death and saying:
“He showed no remorse. For years I watched Peterson parade on TV, radio, photo shoots, and (that) radio promotion to win a date with him. That was a big joke to him. And he loved all the attention … Your honor, the defendant shows no remorse to this day for the horrible crime that he did to my sister Kathleen. This senseless action is inexcusable. I am placing my trust that you will give Kathleen justice once and for all.”
Earlier, the judge that sentenced Drew Peterson denied a defense motion for a new trial.