Illinois Supreme Court upholds Drew Peterson conviction for murder of Kathleen Savio

Today the Illinois Supreme Court handed down their opinion on Drew Peterson’s appeal  of his 2012 murder conviction.

The court found his allegations of errors of evidence admitted to trial, ineffective counsel, conflicts of interest, and breeches of clergy privilege to be without legal merit.

States Attorney James Glasgow, himself a target of an attempt at murder-for-hire on the part Peterson, released this statement in response to the court’s decision:

Today’s ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously affirming the conviction of Drew Peterson for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, is the ultimate vindication of my decision to pursue a prosecution that had been criticized initially by many legal professionals and those in the media.
Today’s ruling completely affirms my lawful use of relevant and probative hearsay statements against Drew Peterson at his murder trial. Peterson thought the statements and threats he made had died with Kathleen Savio and had vanished with his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. He never anticipated that I would utilize the constitutionally sound concept of forfeiture by wrongdoing to allow Kathleen to testify from the grave against her murderer, and enable Stacy to bolster her testimony. This legal principle allows prosecutors to use relevant and probative hearsay statements at trial against defendants who kill witnesses to keep them from testifying.
The Illinois Supreme Court today not only affirmed the use of this principle as applied in the Peterson case, but it identified additional avenues that had already been laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court for prosecutors to use in future cases.
Today’s ruling is a victory for the families of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson against a notorious murderer who always felt he could act outside and above the law. It also is a watershed moment for police and prosecutors battling criminals who would twist the law to serve their nefarious purposes by killing the very witnesses who would help bring them to justice.

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Drew Peterson transferred to federal facility in Indiana

 Drew Peterson, AKA  No. 07018-748

Drew Peterson, AKA No. 07018-748

UPDATE 3/10/17: The Chicago Tribune has unearthed the official reason for Peterson’s transfer. “Offender Peterson is a threat to safety and security of the department and therefore an Interstate Corrections Compact Agreement transfer is being initiated by IDOC,” the agency’s acting manager, Doug Stephens, wrote in a letter to the agency’s director.
****************************************

On Tuesday, and with no public explanation, Drew Peterson was transferred from the Menard Correctional Center in Chester to the Terre Haute Federal Correctional Institution in Indiana.

His attorney, Steve Greenberg, stated that he has been given no explanation for why Peterson was transferred but pointed out that the facility would most likely be more comfortable and safer for Peterson.

He is still technically in IDOC custody.

Yesterday, the case file for Peterson’s latest murder-for-hire conviction was updated with a full history:

2015CF26  D-1  PETERSON, DREW M35067
 

*The following changes were made to the case history:

Case History

Changed	Date	Entry	Judge

Entered Under:
 modification 	 02/25/2016 	    Transcript Invoice Voucher on file. Order Granting Defense Request to File Orders Under Seal on file. Order on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 02/25/2016 	    Petition for Expert Fees on file. Proof of Service on file. Notice of Hearing on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 02/29/2016 	    Defendant appears from DOC. Case mgt conf set for 04/01/2016 at 9:00 in courtroom 2. Possible Motion to be made. Order on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 02/29/2016 	    Petition for Rule to Show Cause on fiele.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 03/08/2016 	    Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher	  RAB  
 modification 	 03/30/2016 	    Summons returned showing service. (Sangamon County Sheriff)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 03/30/2016 	    Order on file. (fee to be paid to Stutchman Forensic Lab)	  RAB  
 modification 	 04/01/2016 	    People's Discovery Answer on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 04/01/2016 	    Defendant appears from jail; April 22, 2016 motion hearing contingent on April 18, 2016 trial status. Order on file. (motion hearings set April 22, 2016)	  RAB  
 addition 	 04/04/2016 	    Summons returned showing service. (Sangamon County Sheriff)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 04/14/2016 	    Petition for Expert Fees on file. Order Granting Defense Request to File Orders Under Seal on file. Petition to Approve Retention and Funding on file. Notice of Hearing on file. (5-2-16, 2pm) Proof of Service on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 04/18/2016 	    Order on file. (Grants motion to approve retention and funding) Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 04/19/2016 	    Subpoena issued. (Kevin Sehlke)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 04/22/2016 	    Reply to People's Motion to Clarify the Court's October 23, 2015 Orders Regarding Relevant Evidence on file. Motion to Suppress on file. People's Motion in Limine to Preclude Certain Character Evidence on file. People's Motion to Clarify the Court's October 23, 2015 Orders Regarding Relevant Evidence and to Compel All Statements the Defense Seeks to Introduce at Trail on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 04/22/2016 	    Defendant appears with Attorney Lucas Liefer; motion hearing held; State is entitled to any summary statements on all oral conversations of who will testify; Attorney Liefer is ordered to give more information as to what will be testified; Order on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 04/29/2016 	    Case mgt conf set for 05/13/2016 at 9:00 in courtroom 2. Jury trial reset to 05/23/2016 at 9:00 in courtroom 2.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 05/02/2016 	    Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  
 modification 	 05/02/2016 	    Subpoena issued. (James Glascow) Subpoena issued. (Kevin McCarthy) Subpoena issued. (Brian Clark) Subpoena issued. (Ron Bratcher) Subpoena issued. (Major Dunn) Subpoena issued. (Kim Butler) Subpoena issued. (Kevin Reichert) Subpoena issued. (C/O Dillingham, MCC) Subpoena issued. (Kevin Verble) Subpoena issued. (Barb Marcinkowski) Subpoena issued. (C/O Anthony, MCC) Subpoena issued. (C/O Spiller, MCC) Subpoena issued. (Karen Moser)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 05/03/2016 	    Order on file. Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/05/2016 	    Subpoena issued. (Dawn Marcinkowski)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 05/11/2016 	    Petition for Fees on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 05/12/2016 	    Motion to Compel on file. Subpoena issued. (Louis Silich) Subpoena returned showing service. (C/O Dillingham, MCC) Subpoena issued. (Hugh Williamson) Subpoena issued. (James Glasgow)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 05/13/2016 	    Defendant present with Attorney Lucas Liefer; Defendant's motion to compel is granted in so far as State's Attorney try to obtain that information from the Penal Institution; continued to 5-19-16, 10am. Order on file. Subpoena issued. (Chris Burke)	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/16/2016 	    Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued.	  GG  
 addition 	 05/16/2016 	    Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/17/2016 	    Transcript Invoice Voucher on file. Order on file.	  RAB  
 modification 	 05/17/2016 	    Petition for Fees on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 05/19/2016 	    Subpoena issued. (Bryan Kruder) Order on file. Order on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 05/20/2016 	    Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Atty Walker, Atty Nate, Atty Elward appears for State; Def appears with Atty Liefer; jury selection commences; jury picked at 3:50 p.m. ordered to report for trial 5-23-16, at 9 a.m.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/23/2016 	    Court resumes with jury trial; Atty Walker; Atty Nate; Atty Elward appears for State; Def appears with Atty Liefer; jury trial held; court recessed 4:30 p.m. IPI Criminal 4th No. 3.20 read to jury by Judge Brown.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/24/2016 	    Court resumes with jury trial; Atty Walker; Atty Nate, Atty Elward present for State; Def appears with Atty Liefer; jury trial resumes; Court recesses until 4-25-16. Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/25/2016 	    Court resumes with jury trial; Atty Walker; Atty Nate; Atty Elward present for State; Def appears with Atty Liefer; jury trial resumes; Court resecess until 5-26-16.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/25/2016 	    Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued. Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued.	  GG  
 addition 	 05/26/2016 	    Court resumes; Atty Walker; Atty Nate; Atty Elward appears for State; Def appears with Atty Liefer; jury trial resumes; State's oral motion to bar inmate Shelly McCree granted; Stipulation on file (group Ex 14); Stipultation on file (Pl Ex #'s 20,24,31,33 & top of 34); Court recesses until 5-27-16. Court resumes; Atty Walker; Atty Nate; Atty Elward for State; Def present with Atty Liefer; jury trial resumes; State's oral Motion for Direceted Verdict denied; Def made an offer of proof of what inmate Shelly McCree would say; Def oral motion to bar Warden Butler's testimony on rebuttal granted; State rested; parties stipulate that ppl group ex 14 will be published to the jury; Def rests.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/27/2016 	    Stipulation on file. Stipulation on file.	  RAB  
 modification 	 05/31/2016 	    Jury Trial resumes; Atty Walker, Atty Nate; Atty Elward present for State; Def present with Atty Liefer; case given to jury at 11:45 a.m.; jury returns a guilty verdict at 12:58 p.m.; sentencing set 7-26-16 at 1 p.m. Count II will merge with Count I.	  RAB  
 addition 	 05/31/2016 	    Jury Instructions on file. Guilty verdict forms on file for each charge. List of Exhibits on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 06/02/2016 	    Docket Minutes on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 06/03/2016 	    Order on file. (sentencing)	  RAB  
 modification 	 06/09/2016 	    Petition for Fees on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 06/30/2016 	    Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding Verdict or, Alternatively, for a New Trial on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 07/14/2016 	    Notice of Presentment of Motion for Leave to Withdraw on file. Motion to Withdraw on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 07/18/2016 	    Order on file. (writ for 7-29-16)	  RAB  
 addition 	 07/19/2016 	    Presentence Investigation on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 07/21/2016 	    Petition for Fees on file. Notice of Hearing on file. (8-25-16, 2pm)	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 07/22/2016 	    Proof of Service on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 07/25/2016 	    Letter from the Defendant on file. Judge reviewed the letter.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 07/26/2016 	    Writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Prosequendum issued.	  RAB  
 addition 	 07/29/2016 	    Defendant appears from DOC with counsel Lucas Liefer. Defendant makes a Motion for a new Attorney and that is Denied. Attorney Liefer makes a Motion to Withrawl and that is Denied. Attorney Liefer makes a Motion for New Trial and that is Denied and all rulings will stand. New Judgment Motion is Denied. PSI is admitted for Sentencing Hearing. Mr. Glasgow makes a Victim Impact Statement. Defendant is sentenced to DOC for 40 years, 3 years of Supervision upon his release and Court Costs are waived; Count II is merged with Count I. Attorney Liefer requests that the Circuit Clerks Office file a Notice of Appeal with the Appellate Court and the Appellate Defender be appointed. Judgment-Sentence to IL DOC on file. Amended Judgment-Sentence to IL DOC on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 08/01/2016 	    Statement of Facts on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 08/25/2016 	    Attorney Liefer present; 2 representatives from the Chief Legal Counsel present; motion for payment of fees heard; motion granted. Order on file.(payment granted to Kevin McClain Investigations) Order on file.(payment granted to Attorney Liefer)	  RAB  
 addition 	 08/26/2016 	    Motion to Reconsider Sentence on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 09/15/2016 	    Report of Proceedings on file. (August 25, 2016)	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 09/26/2016 	    Motion to Vacate on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 09/27/2016 	    Amended Motion to Vacate on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 10/03/2016 	    Order on file.	  RAB  
 modification 	 11/10/2016 	    Petition for Expert Fees on file. Petition for Rule to Show Cause on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 12/13/2016 	    Judge review set for 04/18/2017 at 9:00 in courtroom 2.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 12/15/2016 	    Order on file. (notice of appeal and appointment of counsel to be prepared)	  RAB  
 modification 	 12/16/2016 	    Transcript Invoice Voucher on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  
 modification 	 12/16/2016 	    Report of Proceedings on file. (2-9-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (3-3-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (3-3-15) (closed proceedings) Report of Proceedings on file. (7-7-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (8-18-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (9-1-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (9-1-15) (closed proceedings) Report of Proceedings on file. (9-29-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (1-19-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (2-8-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (2-29-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (4-1-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (4-22-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-13-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-19-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-22-15)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 12/19/2016 	    Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file. Order on file. Transcript Invoice Voucher on file	  RAB  
 modification 	 12/19/2016 	    Report of Proceedings on file. (4-14-15) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-19-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-19-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-19-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-19-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (7-29-16)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 12/20/2016 	    Notice of Appeal on file. Notice of Filing Notice of Appeal on file. Certificate of Mailing on file. Certificate of Mailing on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 12/20/2016 	    Appointment of Counsel on Appeal on file.	  RAB  
 addition 	 12/23/2016 	    Letter from Appellate Court on file. (appellate ct. #5-16-0541) Certified mail receipt returned. Certified mail receipt returned.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 01/03/2017 	    Letter from Appellate Defender on file. Amended Notice of Appeal on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 01/04/2017 	    Certificate of Mailing on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 01/05/2017 	    Letter from Appellate Defender on file.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 01/09/2017 	    Certified mail receipt returned.	  UNASSIGNED  
 modification 	 01/18/2017 	    Report of Proceedings on file. (5-20-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-23-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-24-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-25-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-26-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-27-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (5-31-16) Report of Proceedings on file. (8-25-16)	  UNASSIGNED  
 addition 	 01/19/2017 	    Transcript Invoice Voucher on file.	  RAB  

Video: Oral arguments in appeal of Drew Peterson Murder conviction

Today attorneys for Drew Peterson and the State of Illinois presented their oral arguments to the Supreme Court of the state.

Law professor Harold Krent and long-time Peterson attorney Steve Greenberg argued for Peterson, while assistant attorney general Leah Bendik argued for the state.

Attorneys are hoping for an answer from the court by Spring. Here are the arguments in their entirety.

Tuesday: Illinois Supreme Court to hear arguments in Drew Peterson’s appeal of murder conviction

Drew Peterson arrested

Oral arguments in Drew Peterson’s appeal of his 2012 conviction for the murder of Kathleen Savio are scheduled to be heard tomorrow, November 15, at 9:30 in Springfield.

I expect Steve Greenberg (and possibly law professor Harold Krent) will be arguing for Peterson, while assistant attorneys general Michael Glick and Leah Bendik will most likely be arguing for the state.

If you’ve been following this case since it was first appealed, a lot of it is going to be familiar ground; with hearsay, conflict of interest, ineffective counsel, and attorney-client privileges being some of the points of contention.

If you want to get up to speed on the appeal in advance of tomorrow’s proceedings, then fire up those reading glasses, pop a Tylenol and power through the legal briefs filed by both the appellant and appellee teams:

BTW, Stacy Peterson has now been missing for nine years. Her sister, Cassandra Cales, recently went to Facebook to state that if Stacy’s remains are found she will sue for them. She says she is still denied access to her niece and nephew who are in the custody of their half-brother, Stephen Peterson. Peterson was fired from his position as a law enforcement officer in Oak Park, after it was determined that he accepted guns and money from his father during the investigation of Stacy’s disappearance in 2007.

Read: Drew Peterson’s petition to get his pension returned

On August 2, Drew Peterson’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, filed a petition for an administrative review of the revocation of his police pension which was revoked in June, after his conviction for the solicitation of the murder of States Attorney James Glasgow.

The petition claims that Peterson’s annual $79k was unlawfully revoked because his 2012 murder conviction was not related to and did not arise out of his “service as a police officer”.

In November 2007, after the disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy Peterson, the Bolingbrook Chief of Police wanted to fire him but Mayor Claar overruled the decision and let Peterson retire with full pension, which has been being used to raise Stacy Peterson’s two children, Anthony and Lacy.

Recently released covert tapes of Peterson’s conversations with a prison snitch revealed Peterson stating that Bolingbrook Mayor, Roger Claar, “Saved my pension.”

saved-pension

The matter of Peterson’s pension has been under review by the Bolingbrook Police Police Pension Fund board since his 2012 conviction for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. I find it interesting that only after the tapes and transcripts were made public was Peterson’s pension finally revoked.

Exhibit “A” to the petition is the board’s decision and order to strip Peterson of his pension and it outlines the legal reasons and arguments for doing so.

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.”

Reporter 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.