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

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Drew Peterson murder-for-hire trial: Will these jailbirds sing?

Drew Peterson has been charged with attempting to arrange the murder of James Glasgow

Drew Peterson has been charged with attempting to arrange the murder of James Glasgow

Drew Peterson’s latest murder trial is slated to begin in less than a month, and the clock is ticking down on deciding who will testify at trial and what kind of evidence will be allowed.

On April 22, Peterson and attorneys for both sides were back in court to argue three motions.

The first motion seeks to limit the impeachment of a former cellmate of Drew Peterson’s, referred to as “Individual A” in court documents, and earlier identified as a man named Antonio Smith, who is rumored to have been released from prison and now living under an assumed identity.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Elward asked to have Smith’s testimony barred, as well as that of four other inmates, Albert Chavez, Jesus Padilla, Glenn Barrett and Shelly McGree, because Peterson’s attorney, Lucas Liefer, had yet to provide the prosecution with copies of the conversation between Peterson and the other men. “We’re trying this case in the dark because we don’t know what Individual A is going to testify at trial” he stated.

albert-chavez

Elward asked where the reports and summaries of these conversations are and Liefer countered that he had a ton of discovery dumped on him at the beginning of April and was overwhelmed, complaining that he had yet to be paid for his representation of Peterson.

shelly-mcgree

Brown gave Liefer until April 26, to come up with summaries of the conversations, but Elward stated that the prosecution wants not only that but also what these witnesses told investigators.

glenn-barrett

Two of the men are still incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center which houses Peterson, while the other two are now housed at Lawrence Correctional Center.

jesus-padilla

The second motion was in regards to the recordings of conversations between Peterson and other inmates in which he allegedly tried to solicit the murder of Illinois State’s attorney James Glasgow.

Liefer argued that some portions of the recordings are inaudible which makes them untrustworthy on the whole, while Elward pointed out that Liefer has had the recordings for over a year and that 96% of the recordings are fine.

Brown agreed to take a look at the transcripts and then decide.

S.A. James Glasgow does not want to appear as witness at Drew Peterson hearing

S.A. James Glasgow

The last motion involved a clarification on an earlier decision regarding allowing James Glasgow to be used as a witness during the prosecution’s opening statements of the trial.

Elward argued that Glasgow will provide background to the jury on the history between Drew Peterson and himself. “He talks about Savio, he talks about Stacy, he talks about his son losing his job, which he blames Glasgow for” Elward said.

Brown agreed to allow the State’s Attorney to speak, but instructed the prosecution to provide Peterson’s defense with a summary of what he intends to say.

A final pre-trial conference is set for May 13.

Sources:

Randolph County Herald Tribune
Illinois Department of Corrections
Judici

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Drew Peterson charged with soliciting the murder of the man who got him convicted

Drew Peterson has been charged with attempting to arrange a hit on States Attorney, James Glasgow (scroll down to read the filing).

According to an ABC 7 story, Peterson tried to hire someone to kill Glasgow between September 2013 and December 2014. They also report:

The former Bolingbrook police officer faces two felony charges: solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire. He appeared in a Randolph County court Monday morning. According to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, several agencies including the Department of Corrections and FBI were involved in the investigation. Her office will prosecute the case, she said, due to complex nature of the investigation and because Glasgow was a target.

Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow has released the following statement:

This morning I received a copy of the charges that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker filed against Drew Peterson. I have absolute faith in law enforcement and our criminal justice system to handle this case appropriately. I want to thank Attorney General Madigan and State’s Attorney Walker and their legal teams for their work on this case.

It is unfortunate that prosecutors sometimes must deal with allegations of this nature. However, in no way will a threat to my personal safety deter me from the important work I perform as the State’s Attorney on behalf of the citizens of Will County.

The Chicago Tribune quotes Attorney Steve Greenberg (who represented Peterson at trial and filed his pending appeal), as saying:

“I find it extremely difficult to believe he would do something like this. Drew would have nothing to gain and everything to lose by doing that. He believes he has a strong appeal and that the conviction will be overturned.”

The Tribune also reports that Peterson has asked for a public defender.

As for Greenberg’s assertions that “Jim Glasgow was doing his job and Drew realized that”, here is, in part, what Peterson had to say to the State’s Attorney at his sentencing for murder two years ago:

Mr. Glasgow, all aspects of my life have been destroyed. Everything from my personal life to my professional life to my social life, all aspects 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…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.

When WGN contacted Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky,did not pass up a chance to take a jab at his former co-counsel:

“When I was representing Drew we did a lot of controversial things, but apparently his new lawyers don’t have control over their client and that’s unfortunate.”

Stacy Peterson’s sister, Cassandra, told the media “The way he is, he thinks he can get away with anything, he’s above the law.”

Although Drew Peterson has been housed in protective custody he has had ample opportunities to socialize with other inmates. One of his female pen pals described his requests that she find pen pals for his fellow inmates and research correspondence courses for them.

In one letter, dated May 2014, he described a strange meeting while outside for his daily exercise.
drew-yard-conversation

He wrote:

“I was approached in the yard today (by a guy) who said I arrested him some years ago. He didn’t look familiar to me and he said I let him keep his gun. Doesn’t sound like something I would do so I think he was full of crap.”

Peterson is due in court again on March 3.

Read the filing:

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