Drew Peterson sentenced to 40 years for arranging hit on prosecutor

UPDATE 2:36: Drew Peterson was sentenced to 40 years.

Per the Chicago Sun-Times:

In a 20-minute address to the judge, Peterson continued his complaints against his attorney. Peterson contended he never truly intended to carry out a plot to kill Glasgow but rather was setting up a scam so his fellow inmate could rat out Peterson and get a reduced sentence. Peterson contended that his attorney failed to call up to 16 fellow inmates at trial who could have testified about the scam.

Peterson also said during his statement to the court that he has been suicidal while behind bars.

On Friday, closing his remarks, Peterson looked over toward Glasgow in the courtroom and said, “I never did try to have you killed. You can think what you want.”

Outside the courtroom, Glasgow said he was not persuaded by the words of a man he called “a patronizing con man.”
“He’s deluded,” Glasgow said.

According to the Chicago Tribune:

On Friday, Peterson said he knew he was being recorded the whole time and his words were all part of a scam to help Smith bring the evidence to authorities to get Smith a reduced sentence.

Clad in a ruffled white button-down shirt, black pants and white Nike basketball shoes, Peterson claimed several other inmates were aware of the plan as well. Peterson said at the time of the recordings, over several weeks during November 2014, he was suicidal and didn’t believe he would live to see the scam come to fruition.

Also,

Peterson showed no reaction as Brown handed down the sentence. As he left the courtroom, Peterson said something quietly to Cassandra Cales, the sister of Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy.

Cales, who was seated in the gallery, responded to Peterson: “You killed Stacy.”

Report Andy Grimm heard the comment a little differently:

“Give up my sister then kill yourself.”

Judge Brown denied a motion for Peterson to get a new attorney, and also denied a motion for a new trial.

State’s Attorney Glasgow Statement on Drew Peterson Sentence

Drew Peterson was convicted in Randolph County earlier this year of the solicitation for hire of my murder. The sentence handed down today by Judge Richard Brown sends a clear message that convicted criminals will be punished severely if they attempt to take revenge on the prosecutors who have placed them behind bars for their crimes.

While I was the target in this case, it is important to note that this crime is not about me. It is about every State’s Attorney and every Assistant State’s Attorney who takes on the important role of prosecuting criminals and protecting our citizens. This was not merely a threat to one prosecutor. It was an attack on our entire criminal justice system by a notorious murderer who always felt he could act outside and above the law. Prosecutors across our state must have assurances that they are safe once these criminal enterprises are uncovered.

Once again I extend my heartfelt thanks to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for accepting this case for prosecution and to Assistant Attorneys General Steve Nate and Bill Elward who worked alongside Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker to secure a guilty verdict and significant sentence. The Illinois Department of Corrections was critical to the execution of the overhears, and the FBI provided the cutting-edge technology that made these recordings possible. Thank you all for protecting the integrity of our criminal justice system.

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At 1:00 today Drew Peterson will be in court to be sentenced for his solicitation of murder conviction.

His intended target, State’s Attorney James Glasgow, will make a victim’s impact statement and Peterson may also speak.

Peterson is already serving a 38 year sentence for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, which would have kept him behind bars until the age of 92.

The new sentence could add at least 35 years to his earlier sentence which he has been serving at Menard Correctional Facility in Chester, Illinois.

Peterson recently wrote a letter to Judge Richard Brown, complaining about this representation by his court-appointed defender, Lucas Liefer.

Last week a motion for leave to withdraw was filed for Peterson’s case so it remains to see who will be sitting next to Peterson in court today.

I will update this post later today with news as I hear it. Randolph county does not allow cameras, lap tops or phones in the courtroom and today there is no overflow room available to reporters, so live tweets will not be available. Please check the comment thread for current updates.

In the meantime, Drew can look forward to a continued lifetime of writing letters to women from behind bars, offering signed photos of himself (but not of his kids or wives) and begging for bikini pics of them and their (female) friends.

Drew Peterson letter and photo

Listen: secretly recorded Drew Peterson prison conversations

Yesterday the secretly recorded conversations between Drew Peterson and prison snitch Antonio Smith were made public.

The hours of recordings were played in court last month during Peterson’s trial for solicitation of murder and helped the jurors decide to convict Peterson of attempting to put out a hit on State’s Attorney James Glasgow.

Glasgow was the lead prosecutor in Drew Peterson’s 2012 trial for the murder of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Here are some clips.

Listen: Audio from Drew Peterson’s sentencing rant released

Some audio from Drew Peterson’s 2013 sentencing has been made public.

These clips were played to the jury in Peterson’s solicitation of murder trial last month along with hours of prison conversations between himself and prison snitch, Antonio Smith.

Transcript of Clip One:

THE COURT: Go ahead, sir.

PETERSON: Good day. My name is Drew Peterson. I hope I don’t aggravate the situation,but I have a lot of things that I think need to be said.

THE COURT: Say whatever you choose.

PETERSON: And I have been forced to sit silent since the beginning of all this. I did not kill Kathleen.

SAVIO: Yes, you did.

THE COURT: There won’t be any comments from the audience, or I will have to –

SAVIO: Liar.

THE COURT: Ma’am, I’d like you to leave the courtroom. Mr. Peterson, don’t make any outbursts which are calculated to irritate anyone in the audience. You are speaking to the Court now.

Please go ahead.

THE DEFENDANT: I am sorry, Your Honor, I just have to apply the affirmative defense for misconduct in your courtroom. I apologize but –

THE COURT: Go right ahead.

PETERSON: I must have been woozy.

Transcript of Clip Two:

PETERSON: Kathy’s death, it was never my intention throughout these proceedings, no one witness, no one juror, not one prosecutor looked me in the eye until today, and I hope Mr. Glasgow looks me in the eye right now; never forget my face; never forget what you have done here.

Originally, I had some cute and funny things to end with but in closing now it’s time to sentence an innocent man to a life of hardship and abuse of prison, and I don’t deserve this. I don’t. Thank you.

Read the transcript of his full statement.

Drew Peterson murder-for-hire trial: Day 6 – GUILTY

Update: 12:45
The jury has reached a verdict. Just waiting on Judge Brown to return to the courtroom.

And the Verdict is…GUILTY on both counts of solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire.

One count carries a mandatory sentence of at least 20 years. The other at least 15 so he’ll get an addition 35 years minimum.

Sentencing will take place July 26.

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Today is the last day of Peterson’s trial for allegedly attempting to hire a hit man to kill Illinois State’s Attorney, James Glasgow, while incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois.

This morning the prosecution has presented their argument to the jury and now it is the turn of the defense.

Have you taken a look yet at the complete transcripts of the conversations between Drew Peterson and fellow inmate Antonio “Beast” Smith recorded secretly between Nov. 13-29, 2014?

I will update this blog post throughout the morning with information gathered via Twitter and various other sources. To see the latest updates, refresh your page often.

Please check out the links to these hard working journalists at the bottom of this page.

10:40

10:43 a.m. Back in session. Defense attorney Lucas Liefer up next.

Liefer: “It would have been nice to be prosecutors in this case.”

Liefer begins argument by fantasizing that he would be Randolph County State’s Attorney if Jeremy Walker weren’t around

Liefer: “State is basing their case on the word ‘gone’ and nothing more. The only thing I’m missing is a lying snitch.”

Liefer using the same words as Peterson, but applying them to SA Jeremy Walker.

Liefer: Prosecution’s recordings “prove absolutely nothing.”

Liefer: James Glasgow’s testimony was “designed to get you to hate #DrewPeterson”

Liefer: “They don’t have any other evidence in this case.”

“The state has muddied the water so much in this case to distract you.” – Liefer to jury.

“What are we left with? The recordings of a snitch. A career snitch who wanted to be an informant with the FBI.” – Liefer.

Liefer pointing to James Glasgow’s signature to get an overhear order in Randolph County.

Liefer refers to Antonio Smith as prosecutors’ “trust snitch.”

Liefer talking about letters Smith sent to Gabriel and how Smith was told by FBI to keep his mouth shut.

LIefer: Smith handed recording device to another inmate while on the yard.

Liefer says it all compromised the investigation.

Liefer quoting Smith talking about Will County: “I lied to them bitches.”

defense focuses heavily on discrediting prosecution’s key witness: Antonio Smith. Calls him to a “career snitch.”

defense say “inaudible” and “incomprehensible” recordings prove nothing

Liefer plays audio of Smith promising prosecutors “I’ll get you your conviction. I’ll drag him to the courthouse myself.”

Liefer playing recorded conversation between Smith and IA.

Liefer: Smith had “golden plan” to get #DrewPeterson and make everyone look good, and “old Beast would get another chance at life.”

Liefer quoting Smith: “Once I tell you my plan, it’s golden.” Liefer: “This was his plan, he was running the show.”

Liefer says Smith wrote letters to Will County in Aug. 2014 because he was also snitching on correctional officers.

Liefer: Smith was a “rat caught in a trap.”

Defense on Antonio Smith: If he was really worried about Peterson killing Glasgow, why did he wait months and months to tell authorities?

Liefer points to “proof positive” that Antonio Smith was lying.

Liefer: Smith said Drew confessed to Stacy death. But “twice in the recorded conversations, #DrewPeterson says she’s still alive.”

“Not a single state witness had much of anything to add to the evidence of this case.” – Liefer

State relying on word of “a lying snitch, who is so unreliable that it’s embarrassing that the state paid him money,” Liefer said

defense calls murder for hire “a crime of words,” yet Peterson never said murder or kill in recordings

“How has state met their burden of proof on solicit. of murder the when the key words of ‘murder’ and ‘kill’ are not spoken by the def.?”

Liefer: “This is how these guys cope. This is how inmates stay sane. They talk. And it’s nonsense.”

Liefer: #DrewPeterson spent more time “talking about ripping Nancy Grace” and running drugs than killing Jim Glasgow

Liefer asks if the state believed Drew Peterson about anything, why hadn’t they charged him regarding the drug trafficking plan.

“Who has the motive and intent in this case? Everything (the state) has presented is questionable.”

#DrewPeterson defense: “This case is rotten with inconsistencies…the case revolves around the recordings and nothing else.”

Liefer again tells jury that #DrewPeterson “still sits there an innocent man.”

Liefer said state cannot point to one instance on recordings where #DrewPeterson asked Smith to “murder” or “kill” Glasgow.

Liefer: “This case is wrought with inconsistencies and incomplete evidence.”

“This entire case revolves around the recordings and nothing else.”

Liefer: “I want you to forget the name #DrewPeterson and everything that goes with it.”

“I am doing this because I believe in the law and care in the law.” – Liefer

Liefer closes with “enter a verdict of not guilty on both counts”

Liefer done.

11:06

Jeremy Walker up for rebuttal.

Walker: “Lucas and I are friends.” They go out to dinner and plan to get drinks tonight.

Walker shouts about claims Liefer made in closings. Then says, that’s what defense attorneys do. “I’m still gonna go have a drink with him.”

“I didn’t put him away in prison for 38 years!!! And as mad as I am right now, I’m still gonna go have a drink with him….

“For him to accuse me that I would charge him, accuse me of being under-the-table, that’s what defense attorneys do.”

Walker’s point: Liefer isn’t in prison for murder, and he doesn’t have another murder case pending against him.

Walker on Smith: “The Pope can’t buy dope. The Pope isn’t going to be contracted to kill somebody.”

Walker: #DrewPeterson had four motives: Pension, appeal, Stacy, his son.

Walker: “that man (Drew Peterson) wants James Glasgow dead”

Walker on Smith: “When did he ever get caught lying? Not one single time.”

Walker: “Snitch does not mean liar.”

Walker: Smith “crossed one of the biggest lines … He wore a wire on a fellow inmate in a maximum security facility.”

“My desk is piling up. I’ve got another jury trial in two weeks on burglary. I care more about that than that man (Peterson) right there.”

Walker: #DrewPeterson got quiet on recordings when talking about Glasgow murder. “What happens when your kids get quiet?”

“Yeah, Antonio’s asked for a time cut, but he earned his trust by asking what he could prove to you.”

Walker brings up media question regarding why Peterson was suspicious of staged photo if he wasn’t involved.

Walker: Best line of #DrewPeterson trial came when Liefer asked Smith if you can believe a snitch. “You can with evidence,” Smith said.

On Antonio Smith: “People deserve the benefit of the doubt when they can back up what they are saying.”

Walker: Smith will have to sleep with “one eye open.”

Walker: “A prosecutor deserves to go home at night and not worry about getting shot in the head because I did my job.”

Walker then finishes closing by pointing at #DrewPeterson “Find this man guilty.”

Walker is done. Jury getting instructions now.

11:35 a.m. jury is now deliberating

Twitter:
Pete Spitler – @Editor_RCHT
Matt Walberg – @mattwalberg1
Joe Hosey – @joehosey
North County News – @NCNews_RedBud
Anna Giles – @AnnaGilesWSIL
Jon Seidel – @SeidelContent
Tonya Francisco – @TonyaFrancisco

Read: Full transcripts of covert recordings between Drew Peterson and prison snitch

smith-petersonReady for a little light reading after the holiday weekend’s activities?

Well, here’s some fodder for your e-reader.

Below are the complete transcripts of the conversations between Drew Peterson and fellow inmate Antonio “Beast” Smith recorded secretly between Nov. 13-29, 2014.

The state believes they contain enough evidence to add another 60 years onto Peterson’s sentence for solicitation of murder of State’s Attorney, James Glasgow and they were played last week in court to a jury that will begin its deliberations tomorrow after closing arguments.

kill him

November-13, 2014
Heard: Peterson, Smith, Randy, Capone

November-14, 2014
Heard: Peterson, Smith, Capone, T-Real, Correctional Officer

November-15, 2014 – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4
Heard: Peterson, Smith, Ali, Jesse

November-16, 2014 – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Heard: Peterson, Smith, Lorek, Jesse, Glenn Barrett

November-25, 2014
Heard: Peterson, Smith

November-28, 2014
Heard: Peterson, Smith, Lorek

November-29, 2014 – Part 1, Part 2
Heard: Peterson, Smith, T-real, Jesse, Capone, Ali, J-hood, Cecil

Drew Peterson murder-for-hire trial: Days 4/5

Illinois Assistant AG Steve Nate addresses the courtroom with  Antonio Smith on the stand.

Illinois Asst Atty General Steve Nate addresses the courtroom with Antonio Smith on the stand.

This afternoon, after calling three inmate witnesses to the stand the defense rested its case in the murder-for-hire trial of Drew Peterson.

Drew Peterson waived his right to testify and closing arguments will take place on Tuesday, the 31st. Jury deliberations should begin at about noon that day.

Drew Peterson’s attorney Lucas Leifer first called Jesus Padilla who testified in general about prison scams and snitching and said that he kept his distance from Antonio Smith after he learned that he was involved in some kind of scheme.

jesus-padilla

Albert Chavez was called next. He testified that he knew both Peterson and Smith and that he would “chow” with them but that he didn’t hang out with them when he realized they were “running a scam”.

albert-chavez

Third called was Jacob Bohannon, who was Smith’s accomplice in the attempted murder and robbery that put them both in prison.

bohanonmug

Bohannon testified that Smith was not truthful. “Sometimes he tells the truth, most of the time he wouldn’t.”

The prosecution had no questions for the three witnesses and after Peterson opted not to take the stand the defense rested.

drewdick

DAY 4

On Thursday, the defense cross-examined the star witness, Antonio Smith.murder

Smith was questioned about his role as prison snitch at both Menard and Pontiac prisons. He admitted that he had referred to the the FBI and investigators as “bitches” and spoke about playing them in prison “kites” sent to former cellmate, Adrian Gabriel.adrian-gabriel

Smith also admitted that he had tried to negotiate for a reduced sentence and had promised the feds that he would do “anything” to get them a conviction (of Peterson).

When Smith reiterated that Peterson had told him he killed his fourth wife, Stacy, Peterson shook his head “no”.

deadwoman.JPG

Smith admitted that Peterson had never used the words “kill” or “murder” in regards to James Glasgow and that they had not talked about an exchange of money.

FBI Special Agent Brian Clark then testified about Smith’s involvement in the operation. He said that Smith was willing to wear recording device, and he understood the risks.

Prosecutor Steve Nate asked Clark, “Can someone ask someone to commit murder without using the word ‘murder’?” Smith answered, “Yes.”

More investigators were called to testify about how the investigation took place and then Court reporter Karen Moser was called to the stand.

Moser had been court reporter during Drew Peterson’s sentencing. A tape was played of Peterson’s rant from that day.

didnotkill

“Never forget my face. Never forget what you’ve done here.” Peterson said to States Attorney James Glasgow.

Read More:
Randolph County Herald
Chicago Tribune
Patch

Twitter:
Pete Spitler – @Editor_RCHT
Matt Walberg – @mattwalberg1
Joe Hosey – @joehosey
North County News – @NCNews_RedBud
Jon Seidel – @SeidelContent

Drew Peterson murder-for-hire trial: Day 3, Part 2

mug-5-20-16

UPDATE 5/26/2016: yesterday’s storms knocked out my internet so I will be unable to update the blog for a couple of days. I will be checking Twitter from time to time, though. See you there!

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Today is the third day of Peterson’s trial for allegedly attempting to hire a hit man to kill Illinois State’s Attorney, James Glasgow while incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois.

Inmate Antonio Smith will continue his testimony from the witness stand and we will hear more of the covert recordings between himself and Drew Peterson.

This morning, Smith was the sole witness while recordings were played back in court. The conversations were hard to make out, often made unintelligible due to the sounds of an exercise yard full of inmates.

There was much discussion about the prison commissary and the preparation of behind bars food, such as “apple pie” using peanut butter cookies for the crust, the best way to boil water and uses for mozzarella cheese.

Just after the topic of conversation had switched to porn, mentions of James Glasgow were heard.

There was discussion about whether his murder would constitute a federal or state crime, how huge of a story it would be in the media, and what they would say when they were questioned about the murder. Then the proceedings broke for lunch.

Peterson also bragged to Antonio Smith about making misleading phone calls with his lawyer about the whereabouts of his wife, Stacy.

“You know how many times me and my lawyer knew they were listening? And we were telling them like, ‘She’s in Peoria.'” Drew Peterson says on the recording played in court Wednesday.

“The next week, they were there. They were tearing up (expletive) Peoria.”

Meanwhile, former Drew Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky took to Twitter and reacted to the criticisms of his work on the overhears.

Brodsky also had some advice for the prosecution.

Anna Giles of WSIL and Mary J. Koester of the North County News will be live tweeting events from the courtroom today which I’ll be sharing here as well as any other interesting info I come across.

Make sure to refresh this page often for the latest updates. I’ll also share anything else interesting in the comments thread.

1:20

Back in session…

Nov. 18, 2014 convo according to Smith (no recording): Peterson to Smith – it doesn’t have to be execution style (Glasgow’s murder)

Smith reading several “kites” between he and Peterson – mostly food references/plans, but also question about a confidential informant

A. Smith says for weeks he led #DrewPeterson to believe there was progress on the murder for hire plot, so as not to raise his suspicions

Nov. 25, 2014 – Smith given pic of Glasgow he would claim was from his uncle to make Peterson believe progress was being made

Smith thought the pic looked staged and wrote “this shit was obvious” on the back after Peterson returned the pic to him

2:30

Nov. 28 recording – Talking about celebrities/movies…

Audio: Peterson told Smith there were “red flags” about the pic, but did not explain at the time

Nov. 29 audio – Smith said #DrewPeterson seemed suspicious and was interrogating him

After Antonio Smith sent #DrewPeterson a pic of Glasgow, Smith says Peterson became suspicious of him, saying the photo looked staged

Recording of the 11/29/14 is probably the hardest one to decipher so far. Jurors have prosec’tn transcript to aid them, over Def. object’n