Judge Burmila begins to hand down the sentence. He won’t consider Stacy Peterson disappearance (Peterson could still be charged with this). “This crime happened by stealth.” “It had to have been planned in advance.” Judge notes that Peterson showed no remorse and did not take responsibility for Savio’s death. Burmila on sentencing: “It’s not an exact science. The court is not Solomon.” “This sentence must be served in its entirety.” Burmila sentenced Drew Peterson to 38 years in prison. Judge says Drew Peterson will get credit for 4 years served but will serve 100% of his sentence.
Drew Peterson shouts: “I DID NOT KILL KATHLEEN!” Peterson outburst shocks the courtroom. Peterson says “I’ve been forced to sit silent.” Judge throws out a Savio relative after she says yells back “Yes, you did!” Peterson says prosecutors and police officers falsified, lost evidence in one of the most expensive investigations in county history. Peterson complaining of false police reports, “rumors, gossip, outrageous lies and most importantly, unreliable hearsay.” Peterson said Schori promised him and Stacy “anything we talked about would remain personal and private and would never be repeated.” Peterson says the courts violated the clergy privilege by revealing info from counseling session. Judge ruled otherwise. Peterson : “Hearsay’s a scary thing.” “Nobody’s accountable for the truth.” Peterson’s voice is quivering as he speaks. He sounds angry. Peterson says evidence used to convict him were “all statements made by women who were trying to better position themselves.” In divorce, “everybody lies. And everybody lies basically under the instructions of their own attorneys.” Peterson choking back tears as he recalls his kids telling him that they lied to protect their mom in a court hearing a decade ago. Peterson calls both Kathleen and Stacy liars. Says that Stacy had a crush on Rev. Neil Schori. Peterson now criticizing prosecutors for using a “skinny-butt” spokesperson — a family friend of Stacy Peterson’s – as a mouthpiece. Peterson says all this went on “under the eyes and nose” of the court. Peterson is now going through autopsy results, reminding the judge that a coroner’s jury determined Savio’s was an accident. Peterson just asked for a glass of water. Peterson says he “may be redundant with a lot of things, but I need to say them.” Peterson says authorities took “an accident and staged a homicide.” Peterson on his time as a cop: “My conduct was exemplary.” Says he was probably one of the highest decorated officers. Peterson still talking in court, There’s no time limit for him so he’s going through all the trial arguments. Peterson says “I was viewed as a great guy and in moments the media turned me into a monster.” Peterson says that as soon as he’s able he’s getting a shoulder-to-shoulder tattoo that reads “no good deed goes unpunished.” Peterson says he loved Kathy Savio, she didn’t deserve to die. She was a good mom, kept a nice home. And then he starts trashing her. Peterson says Kathy Savio was emotionally unstable from a childhood filled with physical and sexual abuse. Peterson says Kathy cried on their wedding night because her dad didn’t show up to walk her down the aisle. Peterson say he paid for Kathy Savio’s funeral, prompting a family member to shout: “That’s a lie, right there!” Peterson on Dr. Baden: “He cut off the head of the mother of my children …” voice rising, rest inaudible. Peterson talks, three family members are listening in the overflow room after being tossed from courtroom. Peterson : “Mr. Glasgow, all aspects of my life 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 that ever took place in this country.” “Anything you sentence me to, you’re sentencing me to the Department of Corrections to die.” Peterson says he “can’t believe he spent 32 years defending the constitution that allowed this to happen to me. “America should be outraged but nobody cares.” “I take full responsibility for my relationship with the media.” “I agreed to go on national TV to tell my side of the story.” “It’s pretty clear the state took part in that movie.” He calls Nancy Grace a “busy body”. “I am an obnoxious man by nature…and my defense mechanism is comedy.” Peterson in closing: “I don’t deserve this.” Peterson tells Glasgow to look him in they eye.
Joe Lopez now arguing for Drew Peterson. No matter what sentence Drew Peterson gets, it won’t deter spouses from fighting and killing each other. “These things have been going on since the birth of man.” He points to Chicago’s murder rate as proof. “Even the minimum sentence puts him at the end of the spectrum of his life.” Drew Peterson sentence won’t deter others from domestic violence: “There’s commandments about it as old as Moses.” Drew has no prior criminal history as a child. Drew has led a law-abiding life until the moment he was convicted. Peterson has done some good things in life. He worked for Burger King as a teen, worked at a shoe store. Joined the Army. Lopez points out letters of recommendation, including one from 1994 by Glasgow’s office commending Drew Peterson and others for police work. Lopez tells judge that Drew put his life on the line as a cop. “That has to count for something,” he says. Regarding fight between Drew Peterson and Savio witnessed by Drew’s son Eric, “It takes two to tango.” “Drew loved his children more than he hated any of the women he was with.” Peterson has maintained “since Day One” that Savio’s death was an accident. Still no physical evidence. there is nothing in the record that would indicate “this” would happen again. An excessive sentence would be a hardship to Drew Peterson ‘s children. The court must punish Drew, but asks the judge not punish his children even more than they have been. Drew has twice been treated for skin cancer since his May 2009 arrest. Our lives have changed because of the media coverage. … People in the other room are tweeting about what I’m saying.” In Drew’s “private life things weren’t that good.” But in his public life “he did do good things.” Peterson might not have been the best husband in the world. Lopez asks for sentence closer to 20 years.
Glasgow about to make his recommendation for Drew Peterson sentencing. He asks judge to take into consideration the fact that another judge found Drew likely killed Stacy Peterson too. Glasgow tells judge “the unconditional love that the children need from their parents has been ripped from them.” Glasgow says Drew’s actions denied four children of their mothers — and now their father, too. Reminds judge that Drew’s second wife testified at an earlier hearing about suffering abuse during their marriage. Glasgow also mentions testimony from Drew Peterson’s son, Eric, about how Peterson attacked Savio. He asks the judge to recall Drew Peterson soliciting a potential hit man to kill Savio. Drew Peterson received financial gain after Savio’s death. “The compensation was enormous.” Peterson is pathological and could kill again if he was set free. Drew Peterson orchestrated the finding of Savio’s body, and was interviewed “on friendly terms” by police. Police officer is the most noble profession in society. “But Drew Peterson violated it at the highest level.” This sentence needs to send a very strong message, that this will not be tolerated. Defense will argue for leniency because of his police service. Prosecutors say it should be harsher because society trusted Drew. Glasgow asks for sentence in “higher range” of 20-60 years.
Drew Peterson’s ex-brother-in-law Henry Savio Jr. is now reading his statement. “Drew Peterson murdered my sister, Kathleen. He took away a mother, a sister and a friend. My sister always wanted children. She always wanted to be a mother. The relationship with her kids, Tom and Kris, was destroyed because Drew Peterson did not allow us to be in their lives. Drew Peterson broke into her house. He terrorized her. He brutalized her. And then he drowned her. It makes me sick to know that he was the last person she ever saw”
Henry Savio says he will mend his relationship with Kathleen’s boys while Drew Peterson is “rotting away in jail.”
“I pray that during the last minutes of his life, he is able to clearly see her and she is watching his dissension into hell. He took Kathleen’s future and now she has taken his. She was afraid of Drew Peterson, but I know in her last hours she stood up to him.”
Kathleen Savio’s sister, Susan Doman, now reading her victim impact statement. “I can hardly stand the pain at times. The thought of the last night of her life will always be with me. My sister Kathleen was my rock through my life. I always looked up to her even though she was younger than me. She told me we were family, and no one could take that away.” Doman is in tears on the stand.
“She had a big heart for her family. She did not deserve to be brutally murdered. During the divorce she lived in fear, and I knew the defendant would kill her one day. She only wanted to live in peace and go on with her life. The defendant took that away…He shows no remorse. Drew took everything away from Kathleen when he decided to take her life. This was a big joke to him, and he loved all the attention.”
Susan Doman asks Judge Burmila to give her sister justice “once and for all.”
Kathleen Savio’s sister, Anna Marie Doman, now on the stand to deliver her victim impact statement. “Kathleen Savio was my baby sister. She will never see…her own boys have families of their own. Our family is forever broken. I still can’t believe I will never hug her or hear her voice again. I still talk to her. I sure hope she can hear me.”
Restaurateur Jeff Ruby has arrived in his steakhouse bus. He is in the hallway of the courthouse but sheriffs are not sure he can be allowed inside after the contempt of court charge he received for mouthing words at Drew Peterson during the trial. “I didn’t drive all the way out here to not be allowed in,” he says.
Court is in session.
Judge Burmilla says he has read all submitted documents. He says that conversation between Rev. Schori and Stacy was not covered by clergy privilege. Says that Drew Peterson sought publicity on his own. Not unreasonable for Peterson and Brodsky to seek media attention pre-indictment. Drew Peterson clearly shares part of the blame for Brodsky entering into media contract.
Burmila says it was clear to him from the very beginning that Brodsky was not capable of defending Drew Peterson on his own. But that does not mean Drew Peterson did not get the vigorous defense he was entitled to from his entire legal team.
The judge rules no new trial for Drew Peterson.
Press Release from the State’s Attorney’s office:
Update: Drew Peterson Sentencing Thursday, February 21
Judge Edward Burmila will rule on the defense post-trial motion for a new trial in People V. Peterson at 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 21. If he denies the motion, the case will proceed to sentencing. After Judge Burmila announces a sentence:
• The press is asked to go to Joliet City Hall for a post-sentencing news conference. We will begin the conference roughly 30-45 minutes after a sentence is announced.
• State’s Attorney Glasgow and his trial team will be available to make a statement, discuss the case and answer media questions.
• Kathleen Savio’s and Stacy Peterson’s family members will be available for comments as well as possibly other witnesses from the trial.
Joliet City Hall is located at 150 W. Jefferson Street
One block west of the Will County Courthouse
State’s Attorney Glasgow once again would like to thank Mayor Tom Giarrante and City Manager Tom Thanas for allowing us to bring this news conference indoors to the newly remodeled City Council Chambers.
This post will be updated throughout the day. Check the comments thread below for the most recent news and tweets.
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