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

Drew Peterson pleads Not Guilty to murder-for-hire charges

Artist's drawing shows Peterson in court today with his attorney Lucas Leifer

Artist’s drawing shows Peterson in court today with his attorney Lucas Leifer

This morning at a court appearance in Chester, Illinois, Drew Peterson waived a preliminary hearing and pleaded not guilty to having attempted to arrange the murder of State’s Attorney, James Glasgow.

Peterson appeared in court in a white dress shirt, black pants, dress shoes and leg shackles. He attempted to nod at reporters and joked with sketch artists, asking them to draw him smiling. When admonished by Judge Richard A. Brown he replied, “I understand.”

Two subpoenaed FBI agents (I believe their names to be Brian Clark and Chris Straub) did not testify today since the hearing was waived.

Steve Nate from the Attorney General’s Office argued a motion for an order prohibiting Peterson’s attorneys and prosecutors from disclosing to the public any evidence in the case, which was granted. This was most likely filed to protect the identity of the jailhouse “snitch”, who is reported to have been a fellow inmate of Peterson’s, and outed in letters from another inmate as Antonio Smith. Last month, Peterson’s former attorney, Joel Brodsky, released those letters from inmate Adrian Gabriel, who claimed to have hatched a plan with Smith to set up Peterson with the solicitation charges. Brodsky says that Smith is presently under witness protection and living in Florida under an assumed name.

The state also filed a notice disclosing that Peterson’s case twice involved use of eavesdropping devices.

Peterson is next expected in court on April 14 for a case management conference and the case has also been placed on the July 2015 jury docket in Randolph County.

Stacy Peterson’s sister, Cassandra Cales, was in attendance.

Peterson’s new attorney, Lucas Leifer, says that he and his client do not want to try this case in public.

Sources:
Jon Seidel
Stacy St. Clair
Judici

Read the letters from Adrian Gabriel to Joel Brodsky alleging that he plotted to set up Drew Peterson in murder-for-hire charges

adrian-gabriel

UPDATE 2/26/15: Joel Brodsky has tweeted that Adrian Gabriel’s cell was searched by the Department of Corrections yesterday, and the notes he referenced in his letter, allegedly written by Antonio Smith, were seized.
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Here are the letters that Joel Brodsky posted today on his professional Facebook page. In them, inmate Adrian Gabriel alleges that he and another inmate plotted to set up Drew Peterson with solicitation for murder charges while behind bars.

This is the shorter, initial letter that Gabriel refers to in the longer letter above:

OPINION: Having read the letters my response is that one man’s set-up is another man’s sting.

Also, it seems to me that Mr. Gabriel was all for participating in this sting until he realized that he was not going to benefit the way he had hoped. He then turned and tried to appeal to the other side and when Steve Greenberg wouldn’t indulge him, he then turned to Joel Brodsky, who can always be counted on to go to the media and get his face on the air, and simultaneously trash Steve Greenberg.

BTW, there’s no way I can read all that vitriol flung at Greenberg and not suspect that Brodsky is involved in this beyond simply receiving a couple letters. Funny, he didn’t mention in his WGN interview that he also spoke by phone with Gabriel.

Also, how did Gabriel manage to obtain Steve Greenberg’s personal cell phone number?

A new story by Joe Hosey, details the crimes that put Adrian Gabriel behind bars. This is NOT a nice guy:

Brodsky’s pen pal was sent to prison for a 2002 “horrifying anti-homosexual hate crime,” according to a story in the Northwest Indiana Times. At the age of 15, Gabriel and three others held a gay man and a gay teen at gunpoint and forced them to perform a variety of sexual acts, the story said.

According to a story in the Chicago Tribune, Gabriel and his accomplices also made the man perform sex acts on them. The man was then sodomized with a broomstick.

Subpoenas issued, lawyer assigned in the Drew Peterson murder-for-hire case

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

UPDATE 3/3/15: It looks as if Chris Straub and Brian Clark may be the names of two FBI agents who participated in the undercover investigation.
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UPDATE 2/25/15: I’m aware of the letters that Joel Brodsky received from disgruntled inmate, Adrian Gabriel, implicating himself and Antonio Smith in a plot that he says he hatched to entrap Drew Peterson. I’ll post something a bit later – probably once Brodsky leaks the letters…stay tuned.
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UPDATE 2/22/15: Peterson’s court-appointed attorney filed a “speedy trial demand” which courthouse officials say is not unusual and should not pose a problem. This means his trial will take place within 160 days. Randolph county has jury availability only five times during the year and officials are aiming for a July trial. The courthouse is small so there will probably be a lottery for media passes.
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Subpoenas have been issued for a Chris Straub and Brian Clark in Drew Peterson’s solicitation of murder case.

There are a Brian Clark and a Chris Straub in the Illinois Department of Corrections system but both men are/were incarcerated in Winnebago county prisons, over 300 miles north of Menard Correctional Center, where Drew Peterson is housed. If either of these men are involved in Drew Peterson’s new charges for solicitation of murder, which are said to involve a prison inmate, it will be interesting to learn how they came into contact with him.

There is a Brian Clark residing in the town of Chester, where Menard CC is located, also both a Brian Clark and a Chris Straub who once lived in Bolingbrook and are Drew’s age, but no idea if any of that is significant or merely coincidental.

I’ll try not to speculate any further at this point, and please don’t post any photos or personal information about any individual with those names in the comment section. As the case proceeds, we will all learn the facts.

Drew has a new court-appointed attorney, Lucas Liefer, who filed a motion for discovery on Wednesday. Here is his bio, courtesy of the Red Bud Chamber of Commerce.

Lucas graduated from Red Bud High School in 2003. He attended Southwestern Illinois College for two years before transferring to Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Lucas graduated magna cum laude in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and a minor in History. He then attended Southern Illinois University School of law and graduated cum laude in May of 2011. Lucas is now licensed to practice law [in] Illinois and Missouri.

Lucas worked as an associate attorney with Arbeiter & Walker from October 2011 until November 2012. Currently, he is a partner at the law firm of Cooper & Liefer.

He’s a young one!