Drew Peterson Convicted of Murder

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A jury convicted Drew Peterson of murdering his third wife Thursday, ending a five-year legal saga as confusing as it is complicated and cold-blooded.

Peterson, 58, faces a 60-year sentence. Illinois has no death penalty.

The prosecution built its case against Peterson, who the jury decided murdered his third wife, almost exclusively on circumstantial and hearsay evidence.

That hearsay included testimony about what Peterson's wives had told friends and acquaintances before the one died and the fourth wife disappeared.

Drew Peterson Mug Shot

The verdict was a vindication for Will County prosecutors, who gambled by putting on an arguably shaky case and then committed numerous stumbles.

Over the course of the investigation and prosecution, Peterson seemed to taunt authorities, joking on talk shows and appearing completely remorseless.

The case, which even sparked a TV movie starring Parks & Rec's Rob Lowe, began when a neighbor found Kathleen Savio's dead body on March 1, 2004.

The drowning death of the 40-year-old aspiring nurse was initially deemed an accident caused by a freak slip in the tub, but that theory soon evaporated.

After Peterson's fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, went missing in 2007, Savio's body was exhumed, re-examined and re-classified as a homicide.

Peterson divorced Savio a year before her death. His motive for killing her, prosecutors said, was fear that a pending settlement would run him financially.

The 12 jurors, comprised of seven men and five women including a poet, a mail carrier and a man who said his favorite show was Criminal Minds, agreed.

Officials also suspect he killed his fourth wife because she could finger him for Savio's death; her family hopes he will be charged in Stacy's disappearance.

Jurors weren't supposed to link the fourth wife's disappearance to the third's death, however, and Stacy was not part of the case prosecutors made.

Prosecutors were prohibited from even telling jurors Stacy Peterson is presumed dead or that her husband is the lone suspect in her disappearance.

He says she ran off with another man and is still alive.

Additionally, prosecutors faced enormous hurdles, notably no physical evidence tying Peterson to Savio's death and no witnesses placing him at the scene.

They were forced to rely on typically barred hearsay - statements Savio made to others before she died and that Stacy Peterson made before she vanished.

In 2008, Illinois passed a law tailored to Peterson's case, dubbed "Drew's Law," permitting hearsay at trials in rare circumstances. It apparently paid off.

Prosecutors also had to establish the most basic fact for a murder trial: that there was actually a murder, which some pathologists disputed in court.

The last defense witness was Thomas Peterson, the 19-year-old son of Savio and Drew Peterson, who says he never believed for a second his father did it.

Fascination with the former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant arose from speculation that he used his law enforcement expertise to get away with murder.

Peterson could still win release someday, as he has vowed to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on grounds Illinois' hearsay law is unconstitutional.

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Plenty of mutters in jail, someone will kill him. Place your bets now,

Tequila911

Good one Peach!

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I hate Drew too. He's a smirking chimp cop that thinks he's smarter than everybody else. In this case he was. Nothing from Illinois surprises me. The last two Governors are serving prison sentences, but when the only way to convict a murderer is to create retroactive legislation in the middle of the investigation, the entire system is broken. This was legislatively sanctioned prosecutoral misconduct. Today it put scumbag Drew in prison for life. Tomorrow, your freedom may depend on the quality of hearsay evidence. You could be convicted of a crime with anecdotes from a high school enemy. In the long run it may have been better for Peterson to walk than to allow prosecution by gossip. Only time will tell but it concerns me that Illinois is on the cutting edge of this type of law. Illinois would make a lousy hearsay witness.

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So now the US not only tortures prisoners of war, kills its citizens without charge or trial, wages war of aggression (the worst international crime, according to the Nuremburg Tribunals) and uses the equivalent of General Warrants against its own citizens (which it fought the Revolutionary War over to put a stop to by King George) - but NOW its courts allow hearsay evidence! So much for the Constitutional right to face your accusers. What a banana republic.

Wv-peach

Look at him smirking in the photo! Incredulous! He should be used as target practice at a gun range.

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he doesn't sleep well lately.......

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i hate to say it but if it's as shaky as is sounds he'll run a good chance of release on appeal, i can only pray he becomes a belt loop bitch, hey maybe he & scott peterson can hook up, nope wrong state, plus remember *x cop*!

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This day couldn't come soon enough! Burn in hell @$$hole

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HOPE U HAVE A NEW FRIEND BEN OvER

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Smile now.Soon you'll be someones bitch, maybe get your ass beat like everyday all day til you die a miserable horrible agonzing painful death or maybe.....just maybe you take a razor to your throat and wrap it up yourself. Bastard!