Court shoots down Peterson Bid to keep Kathleen Savio’s estate closed

Kathleen Savio

Kathleen Savio

Court shoots down Peterson Bid to keep third wife’s estate closed
February 9, 2009


The appellate court shot down Drew Peterson’s bid to keep his uncle in control of his slain third wife’s finances.

Peterson’s legal team appealed a Will County judge’s decision to remove Peterson’s uncle, James Carroll, as the executor of his third wife’s will and to reopen her estate.

Attorneys for both sides argued the matter before the state’s third district appellate court last month. In an opinion handed down last week, the court affirmed the original decision, clearing the path for the family of Peterson’s slain third wife, Kathleen Savio, to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

“Absolutely, it’s alive and well,” said Joliet attorney Lawrence Varsek, one of the lawyers representing the Savio family. “It’s going to go forward. The only question is when.”

Varsek said he and his colleagues, Martin Glink and John Kelly, are still discussing when to file the wrongful death suit.

View the Appelate Court Ruling PDF ~ Thanks Thinkaboutit!

Divorce proceedings

Peterson and Savio were in the midst of a contentious divorce when she turned up drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004.

In fact, Savio and Peterson were halfway through a highly unusual divorce proceeding in which the marriage was severed but the financial affairs had yet to be settled.

Within weeks of Savio’s death, Peterson happened to find a will naming his uncle as the executor. The uncle went on to award Peterson control of virtually all of Savio’s assets.

The appellate justices questioned this in their written opinion, saying, “Even from an objective standpoint, we can think of no just or fair reason why Carroll, as executor of the estate, would relinquish all of Savio’s interest in the marital property to Peterson individually.”

State police investigated Savio’s death but failed to find any indication of foul play.

They got another crack at checking it out after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in October 2007.

Savio’s death was subsequently ruled a homicide. State police consider Stacy Peterson to be the victim of a “potential homicide” and have named her husband their sole suspect.

May appeal decision

Joel Brodsky, one of Peterson’s attorneys, said the appellate court was “wrong” and that he will file a motion to reconsider.

He also can appeal to the state’s supreme court.

Varsek doubted this would happen, saying, “The chances of the (state supreme) court taking it are very remote.”

Read the original article.


5 thoughts on “Court shoots down Peterson Bid to keep Kathleen Savio’s estate closed

  1. facs,

    Was just about to post after reading this morning. Wonder how many times Brodsky can appeal? I thought they appealed this decision a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I am wrong.

  2. Here is more on the oil sludge. I wonder how they will actually clean the river. T\I included the link as the article is a bit long.

    Oil sludge spreads in Des Plaines River

    The Environmental Protection Agency has determined approximately nine miles of the Des Plaines River was affected by Sunday’s oil leak at the Caterpillar plant. The coast guard closed the river to boat traffic while environmental officials examine the shoreline.

  3. whitesoxfan Says:

    February 10, 2009 at 6:09 am

    Was just about to post after reading this morning. Wonder how many times Brodsky can appeal? I thought they appealed this decision a couple of weeks ago. Maybe I am wrong.


    I believe that he can appeal the denial by the appellate court, then he can appeal to the state supreme court (and reappeal any of their rejections), and then can appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court. Appeals can take up lots and lots of time.

    I do wonder about when they will file the wrongful death lawsuit. They probably have to do it soon if there are any statute of limitations (which will probably create appeals in itself due to the time that has lapsed since her death versus when it was ruled as homicide). However, as in the Casey Anthony case, trying to get any testimony in a civil trial related to a criminal trial is a very tricky, sticky thing.

  4. Additional story at ABC:

    Peterson family loses Savio estate control

    February 10, 2009 (WLS) —
    The Illinois Appellate Court rejected Drew Peterson’s appeal to keep his uncle in control of his murdered third wife’s finances.

    Peterson was trying to block the family of Kathleen Savio from taking control of her will and reopening her estate. Savio’s family filed a wrongful death suit after Will County authorities ruled that her 2004 death was a homicide.

    Peterson’s attorney says he’ll file a motion to reconsider its decision and may appeal to the state’s Supreme Court.

    Peterson is a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.

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