Drew Peterson pleads not guilty to gun charges

Drew Peterson speaks to reporters July 14 outside the Will County Courthouse after pleading not guilty to two felony weapons charges.

Drew Peterson speaks to reporters July 14 outside the Will County Courthouse after pleading not guilty to two felony weapons charges.

A Will County judge will decide July 30 whether to grant a motion to dismiss two felony weapons charges against Drew Peterson, the judge said Monday.

After more than an hour of hearing arguments from the defense and state’s attorney Monday, Judge Richard Schoenstedt said he wanted time to consider the case before making a ruling. Peterson, the sole suspect in his wife Stacy’s Oct. 28 disappearance, has been charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He pleaded not guilt to both charges.

“It’s certainly very interesting,” Schoenstedt said of the case. “And potentially very complex.”

Peterson’s attorney Joel Brodsky’s motion to dismiss argued that the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act, enacted in 2004, provides immunity to all qualified law enforcement officers from state weapons laws.

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Photo allegedly shows Peterson on duty with illegal assault rifle

By Danya Hooker, dhooker@mysuburbanlife.com

Drew Peterson legally possessed the assault rifle for which is facing felony charges, and has a photo to prove it, according to Peterson’s attorney and public relations firm.

Peterson released the undated photo Wednesday night. In it, Peterson is in full police uniform standing next to another officer while they wait for actor John Travolta to sign an autograph. The officers had been assigned to provide security for the actor while he was in town promoting his movie “Battlefield Earth,” released in 2000.

In a press release issued by Peterson’s publicity agency, his attorney Joel Brodsky said the photo proves Peterson used the AR-15 rifle as a duty weapon and that the charges against his client should be dropped.

“This photo should convince the state police that they’ve made a mistake with these charges,” Brodsky said in the release. “If not we might need to subpoena Mr. Travolta when this case goes to court.”

Peterson was charged May 21 with felony unlawful use of the weapon. The charge alleges Peterson personally bought and owned the weapon, which has a barrel that is three-eighths of an inch shorter than the minimum 16 inches.

Peterson turned himself into authorities May 21 after learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest. He was released a few hours later after posting the required $7,500 bond.

After the arrest, Brodsky said his client had purchased the gun himself but that Peterson used the rifle as his SWAT team duty weapon, which are exempt from state law, Brodsky said.

The Bolingbrook Police Department has said it has no record of the weapon. Brodsky has asked to subpoena the department for all records that might show Peterson qualified with the weapon. The department has said those records do not exist.

A hearing on the felony charge, which carries a maximum five-year prison sentence, is scheduled for May 30.

The full press release is available at http://www.prnewschannel.com/absolutenm/templates/?a=567&z=4.

Drew Peterson faces felony weapons charge

Drew Peterson has officially been charged with a crime, but it has little to do with the investigations into his fourth wife’s disappearance and the death of his third wife.

Shortly after noon Wednesday, Peterson turned himself in to state police after a warrant was issued for his arrest. The charge, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, alleges that Peterson “knowingly possessed a rifle, namely a Colt model Sporter Lightweight…with a barrel less than 16 inches in length,” in violation of state law.

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