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.

***********************************

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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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 hearing today: No reduced sentence, Brodsky to face the music with ARDC

This morning Drew Peterson was taken on a six-hour drive to attend a hearing before Judge Edward Burmila.

The judge denied a motion to reduce Peterson’s 38-year prison sentence to 20 years. He still must serve out the remaining 34 years of the sentence (subtracting the four years he spent in detainment before trial).

Judge Burmila also denied a motion that would keep Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky, from talking publicly about the case and allegedly violating attorney-client privilege. However he did indicate that he felt Brodsky had decided poorly when making the media rounds after Peterson’s sentencing and asked the clerk to send a transcript of Tuesday’s hearing and the motion that prompted it to the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Judge Burmila told the court:

I wish I could think of a word beyond, ‘shocked,’ that I could apply to Mr. Brodsky’s appearance on television.

He was referring to this appearance that Joel Brodsky made on WGN news the morning of February 22 in which he explained his decision to put a controversial witness on the stand and defended his approach to publicity.

According to Joel Brodsky, the Illinois rules of professional conduct allow him to defend himself against allegations of misconduct, and that is what he was doing in that interview and others.

Read more at the Herald-News

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Drew Peterson transferred to maximum security facility downstate

Drew Peterson has been transferred to Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Illinois.
drew-menard

The facility in downstate Illinois has the worst inmate-to-staff ratio of all Illinois’ maximum-security facilities, as well as that of several medium and high-minimum security facilities.

Menard Correctional Center

Menard Correctional Center

Over the last year and a half, Menard was on full or partial lockdown roughly half of the time.

Menard is currently on lockdown status and no visitors are allowed. According to a tweet by Stacy St. Clair the current lockdown is due to an attack on a staff member.

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“I did not kill Kathleen!” Read Drew Peterson’s full courtroom speech

Drew was transferred to the Pontiac Correctional center after a short visit to Stateville.
drews-mug-pontiac

The court has released the transcript of the statement he made shortly before his 38-year sentence was handed down.

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Post Drew Peterson Sentencing: Joel Brodsky turns on Peterson

Not 24 hours after Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the killing of Kathleen Savio, Joel Brodsky was taking to the air waves to try to put some distance between himself and his one time partner-in-publicity.

On a local news show Brodsky claimed that he had never seen Peterson act or sound the way he did in court yesterday when he blurted out, “I did not kill Kathleen”, and then launched into a long self-pitying rant in his own defense.

“Maybe he’s right” Brodsky said about his one-time foe, States Attorney Jim Glasgow, who said that the outburst showed us “the real Drew Peterson”.

Brodsky also took to Facebook in an attempt to exonerate himself from claims that he had made a horrific blunder during Peterson’s trial by calling attorney Harry Smith to the witness stand. Even Judge Stephen Burmila had warned the defense that calling this witness could be risky to Peterson’s defense as he was liable to give testimony that put Drew Peterson at the scene of Kathleen’s death.

The decision to call Harry Smith was called out in Peterson’s motion for a new trial which was denied yesterday, shortly before his sentencing. Although Brodsky was took the stand to testify about his financial arrangements with Peterson, he was never questioned about the Harry Smith matter.

Brodsky wrote:

Joel A. Brodsky, Attorney at Law
2 hours ago

Here is the true story on why Harry Smith was called to testify:

Drew Peterson was convinced that we needed to impeach Stacy’s hearsay. He said that we either had to do it in by using Stacy’s alibi statement or by calling Harry Smith to testify that Stacy was trying to extort him. Drew said that if we didn’t do one or the other than he would insist on taking the stand himself. It was Drew’s right to take the stand if he wanted to, it was his decision, and we couldn’t stop him if he wanted to. We all knew that if Drew took the stand it would have been a disaster, 100% guaranteeing a conviction. Therefore if we were to have any chance of winning we had to either get Stacy’s alibi in, or call Smith, risky as calling Smith may be.

First Attorney Steve Greenberg was supposed get the alibi into evidence through one of the state police officers he was designated to call, Sgt. Collins. However, he failed to do it, and that left no choice but to call Harry Smith. I knew that Smith would be a difficult and risky witness , so instead of putting him off on some other lawyer on the team I felt that as lead lawyer I would be the one who called Smith because it was dangerous, and since I was lead it fell on me to take the risk (being a leader isn’t just a title, it means you take responsibility). Therefore, I was the attorney who called Harry Smith.

All of the attorneys on the team agreed that Harry Smith had to be called. I have both documentary and independent eye witness evidence that Steve Greenberg specifically agreed that Harry Smith should be called to testify.

I didn’t disclose this earlier because Drew’s post-trial motions were pending, and as much as I knew the argument being made was wrong, Drew was still my former client, and I didn’t want to take any action that would prejudice his chances for a new trial. Now that the motion for new trial is denied, I can let the truth about this subject be known.

What should make you mad is that Attorney Steve Greenberg knew all this and was still attempted to put the entire loss on me even though he agreed with the decision to call Harry Smith, made calling Harry Smith a certainty by failing to get the Stacy alibi into evidence, and understood that if we didn’t call him that Drew would take the stand. Greenberg’s intentional and knowing lies about me to the public and the court are reprehensible and he will be held to account for them.

Joel Brodsky has also been stating on camera that Peterson’s current defense team is abandoning his case to the State Appellate Defenders – something that Steve Greenberg denies although attorney Joe Lopez stated this morning on that same news show that he will not be a part of the appellate team (go to 03:35):

Joel Brodsky has filed a suit claiming defamation against Steve Greenberg, the Tribune company and AOL Patch.

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Drew Peterson cries out, “I did not kill Kathleen!” but is sentenced to 38 years in prison

UPDATE 03:37:

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.

UPDATE 03:01:

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.

UPDATE 02:07:

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.

UPDATE 01:52:

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.

UPDATE 01:44:

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.”

UPDATE 01:38:

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.”

UPDATE 01:33:

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.”

UPDATE 01:08:

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.

UPDATE 09:55:

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.
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This post will be updated throughout the day. Check the comments thread below for the most recent news and tweets.

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