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Drew Peterson's Statement at Sentencing Hearing

Former Policeman Claims He Was Railroaded


Drew Peterson

Drew Peterson

Scott Olson / Getty Images
On Feb. 21, 2013, former police officer Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison after his September 2012 conviction for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Before Judge Edward Burmila sentenced him, Peterson made an emotional, rambling statement to the court in which he blamed rumors, gossip, outrageous lies, and unreliable hearsay on his conviction.

"I don't deserve this," he told the judge. "I don't deserve this."

Peterson Addresses the Court

The following are excerpts from Peterson's statement:

"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." Then he screamed, "I did not kill Kathleen!"

After a woman in the courtroom said, "Yes, you did!" she was removed and Judge Burmila warned Peterson against any further outburst.

"I'm sorry, your honor. I must have been woozy," Peterson said. He then went on to accuse Illinois state police investigators of falsifying reports and losing key evidence.

Heresay and Privileged Information

"What they did uncover was rumors, gossip, outrageous lies, and most importantly, unreliable hearsay. Hearsay that pierced three privileges that have stood for centuries," Peterson said.

He also complained that Rev. Neil Schori was allowed to testify about communication between himself and Peterson's fourth wife Stacy which Peterson considered privileged as well as testimony from Savio's divorce attorney Harry Smith.

"Out of the privileged information from Neil Schori, the state police was able to create" a case, he said.

"I find it hard to believe that the state was able to take information that they obtained illegally and turn it to their benefit."

Smith "gave up privileged information from both Kathy and Stacy, like it was yesterday's garbage," he said. "Ultimately, it led to my conviction.

'Everybody Lies' During Divorce

"Hearsay is a scary thing. There's no proof. Anything can be said and nobody's accountable for the truth.

"In my experience, in divorce situations everybody lies, and everybody lies under the instruction of their attorneys."

"There was an incident where Kathleen exited the house. . .and punched Stacy in the face. They went to trial, my 9- and 10-year-old sons were called to testify, and under oath they lied," Peterson said.

"On their next visit, I questioned them, 'Why'd you guys lie?' They said Harry Smith told them to. They didn't want their mom to go to jail," Peterson said. "I couldn't be mad at them."

Stacy Provided Alibi

"Stacy provided me an alibi for Kathleen's death. Then she later said she was lying about that. Seems like Stacy was lying all the time about everything. But the state's attorney picked and chose what they wanted to believe.

"Stacy clearly had a crush on the Rev. Schori, which I think was a factor in this.

"There was a constant and consistently illegal activity by the state's attorney's, including the state's attorney himself.

Peterson then referred to Peterson family spokesperson Pam Bosco.

"So what did the state's attorney do? They hire a skinny. . .spokesperson to go out and say anything she wants. It buffered the state's attorney's office from anything the court might bring.

Coroner Ruled Accidental Death

"And when it came time for a vote from the grand jury, only a handful of people were selected. Not the entire grand jury was brought in to do the vote. Pretty much guaranteed. . .that I was indicted, which I was.

"There was a first investigation on this case, in which probably one of the most experienced investigators was the first one on the scene in this case, and he determined Kathleen's death was an accident.

"Dr. (Bryan) Mitchell looked at Kathy's body when it was in its freshest state. He determined her death was an accident."

"So did the coroner's jury," Peterson said. "All this was done when the evidence was freshest."

Service to Military, Police

After pausing to drink water, Peterson began talking about his military and law enforcement service.

"I was probably one of the highest decorated officers in the Bolingbrook Police Department," he said.

"I always took my job seriously, I never violated the public trust," he said, his voice husky with emotions. "And I never beared [sic] false witness against anyone.

"I loved having a job that helped people," he said. "In my private life, I ran up to six companies at one time. I employed nearly 100 people."

"Until this happened, I thought I was a great guy," he said. "And in moments, the media turned me into a monster.

Paid for Savio's Funeral

"As soon as I get a chance, I'm going to get a tattoo on my back, from shoulder to shoulder, that says, 'No good deed goes unpunished.' "

"The most pathetic thing I've ever seen in my life was the night after our wedding, when I held Kathy and she cried because her father failed to show up and give her away on her wedding.

"At Kathy's wake, friends and family put money in cards and envelopes to help cover the cost of the funeral.

"I paid for the funeral."

A man in the courtroom interrupted Peterson by saying, "That's a lie right there!"

"I paid for Kathy's funeral at the request of her sister, who's sitting right there," Peterson said.

Largest Railroad Job in History

He then turned his remarks to prosecutor James Glasglow.

"Mr. Glasgow, all aspects of my life have been destroyed. Everything from my personal life to my professional life to my social life -- all aspects have been destroyed. And I tell you this to give you greater cause for celebration, when you celebrate the fact that you perpetrated the largest railroad job in the history of this country.

"Since I've been incarcerated, I've had nine family members who have died, six of which were cousins," Peterson said. None of them made it past the age of 60, he said.

"And in telling you this, 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 said.

Nobody Cares

"And I think the only thing left to make this case run true to form would be a cruel and unusual punishment. And I don't think anybody would care because nobody cares. I can't believe I spent 32 years defending a constitution that allowed this to happen to me. I can't believe people fought and died in wars protecting a constitution that allowed this to happen to me."

"America should be outraged, but nobody cares," he said.

"I take full responsibility for my relationship with the media," Peterson continued. "I just wanted them away from my home because they were scaring my kids. They hounded me. I agreed to go on TV and tell my story and ask for legal help.

Did Not Get a Fair Trial

"Everybody from busy bodies like Nancy Grace. . . to that ridiculous movie that played repeatedly before and during my trial.

"It pretty much guaranteed that I would not get a fair trial. It's pretty clear that the state took part in that movie because things I remember saying only to the state police appeared in that movie," Peterson said.

Obnoxious By Nature

"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.

"I hope Mr. Glasgow looks me in the eye right now. 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."

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