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Charles Montaldo

Hearsay Evidence Out in Drew Peterson Case

By July 27, 2011

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An Illinois appeals court has weakened the state's case against a former policeman accused of killing his wife by ruling that hearsay evidence pointing to his guilt will not be heard by the jury. Drew Peterson is charged with the murder of his third wife and suspected in the disappearance of his fourth.

Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, has been held on $20 million bond since his arrest in May 2009.

As his murder trial was about to begin in July 2010, prosecutors appealed the trial judge's ruling on what hearsay evidence could be used during the trial. In a 56-page opinion, the appeals court ruled that prosecutors failed to meet the deadline for appealing that decision.

Drowned in a Dry Bathtub

"Accordingly, we lack jurisdiction to hear the state's appeal of the circuit court's ruling on this issue, and that appeal is dismissed," the court ruled.

Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, was found dead in a dry bathtub in March 2004. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning until October 2007 when his fourth wife Stacy Peterson vanished.

Investigators reopened the Savio case. Meanwhile, Stacy Peterson has not been seen since. The case has been ruled a potential homicide, but no charges have been filed.

Predicted Her Own Death?

When the prosecutors originally appealed the trial judge's ruling, thereby delaying the trial, Peterson's attorneys tried to get his bail reduced while the appeal was in process. Now that much of the evidence against Peterson has been thrown out, they may attempt to have his bail reduced again.

Reportedly, the prosecution wanted to present statements from third parties that indicated that Kathleen Savio had told others that Peterson was going to kill her and that Stacy Peterson told a divorce attorney that Peterson had killed his third wife.

Those statements now will not be introduced during trial.

See Also:
Appellate Court Shoots Down Hearsay Evidence in Drew Peterson Murder Case

Background:
The Crimes of Drew Peterson

Forum:
Discuss The Drew Peterson Case

Photos: Getty Images

Comments

September 29, 2011 at 7:24 am
(1) Dan says:

You might think wife 5 will think a bit before saying “I do.”

October 12, 2011 at 7:45 am
(2) Will Rogers says:

It is amazing how much evidence gets thrown out in cases like this.

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