May 19, 2009
JOLIET — The grand jury investigating the fate of Drew Peterson’s last two wives wrapped up Tuesday with the testimony of potential star witness Thomas Morphey, a source said.
The grand jury’s 18-month term is set to expire Thursday, but the source said it finished two days early.
Charles B. Pelkie, the spokesman for the state’s attorney’s office, said he could neither confirm nor deny whether the grand jury, which was hearing testimony regarding the murder of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio, and the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, as well as the apparently unrelated disappearance of Plainfield mother Lisa Stebic, was in fact done.
The grand jury indicted Peterson two weeks ago on first-degree murder charges in connection with Savio’s death, but no indictments are on file relating to either Stacy Peterson or Stebic’s disappearance, although they may be under seal.
Pelkie declined to comment on whether or not the grand jury has returned indictments in either Stacy or Stebic’s case.
Morphey, the last witness to testify before the grand jury, received immunity from the state’s attorney’s office within days of Stacy’s October 2007 disappearance. The state police put Morphey in hiding for his safety for months, but he was called to testify for the first time just last week.
Morphey, who is Peterson’s stepbrother, claims that the week before Stacy disappeared, Peterson solicited him to murder her. Peterson also asked Morphey to rent a storage locker for him, he said, but he declined to do so.
Hours after Stacy’s family last had contact with her, Morphey claims he helped Peterson carry a large blue barrel from Stacy and Peterson’s bedroom to the driveway, and loaded it into Peterson’s waiting sport utility vehicle.
Morphey is certain Stacy’s body was inside the barrel. He said he was so despondent he attempted to kill himself by overdosing on antidepressant medication.
Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is being held at the county jail on a $20 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court Thursday afternoon.
At the hearing, Peterson’s attorneys will challenge the prosecution’s motion to prevent Judge Richard Schoenstedt from hearing the case. His attorneys may also attempt to have Peterson’s bond reduced.
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