Peterson's cars, computers to be returned

Judge does not rule on gun collection
March 17, 2008 3:08:59 PM PDT
A Will County judge ordered officials to return some of Drew Peterson's belongings that were seized by police last year.The former Bolingbrook police sergeant appeared in court Monday for the first time since being named a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, who has not been seen since October 2007. He has denied any involvement in the case and has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Peterson entered and left the Will County Courthouse through a backdoor Monday. Despite the cloudy day, he wore a pair of sunglasses.

"Drew has received a number of death threats and this was a particular date in time where everyone knew where he would be," said Joel Brodsky, Peterson's attorney.

During the brief hearing on property, Peterson answered a number of questions from the judge, and replied, "yes your honor." Will County Judge Richard Schoenstedt ruled Peterson could get his two cars -- GMC Yukon Denali and Pontiac Grand Prix -- back on Tuesday. He will receive his computers and copies of the hard drives within 15 days.

"Drew is very pleased that he's getting his property back," said Joel Brodsky, Peterson's attorney. "The judge has reviewed the secret testimony of the state, he looked at the affidavits, and still found there was no compelling reason for the state to retain the property any longer."

The judge did not rule on Peterson's gun collection, which was also seized by police.

"The judge has returned the order of the property and specified that Drew couldn't get his firearms back unless he had a valid firearm owner identification card. And that was revoked by the State of Illinois," said Brodsky.

Peterson would like his 11 guns to go to his son, Steve, who is a Bolingbrook police officer, while he appeals the revocation of his Firearm Owner's Identification (FOID) card. In Illinois, a valid FOID card is needed to possess guns. The Will County State's attorney argued against the request.

"We feel they have potential evidentiary value and we don't feel it's appropriate to return those weapons to Mr. Peterson," said Chuck Pelkie, Will Co. State's Attorney spokesman.

Peterson did not answer questions from reporters.

Peterson has also denied involvement in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose death was initially ruled an accident. However, prosecutors had Savio's body exhumed and changed the ruling to a homicide.

On Monday, Brodsky said he was headed to probate court to file an objection to a petition by Savio's family to reopen the woman's estate. Brodsky said he will argue that the statute of limitations ran out 2 years ago.


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