Peterson's gun charge dismissed

June 16, 2011 2:45:43 PM PDT
Former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson had been accused of owning an assault rifle with an illegal short barrel, but a judge dropped those charges Friday. Prosecutors argued Peterson was not allowed to own a short barrel rifle. He said he had an exception because he was a member of the swat team.

However, since a judge dropped the charges, Peterson and his attorneys will now focus on the upcoming murder trial stemming from the death of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson has denied any involvement in her death.

Friday's ruling on the gun charges was small victory for Drew Peterson and his defense team. Peterson appeared in court smiling at anyone who would acknowledge him.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., the judge ruled that since Peterson was an officer at the time, he was allowed to possess the semiautomatic rifle with an 11.5-inch Horton barrel. Detectives had discovered it during the investigation into the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Drew is a suspect in that case but is not charged.

He does, however, faces murder charges in Savio's death. That is a case on appeal, and Peterson's attorneys are challenging it because of the so-called 'hearsay' law.

For now, Peterson has won the battle on the gun charges.

"Obviously, he is pleased because the judge finally recognized that the law applies to him," said Peterson Attorney Steve Greenberg.

"In addition, this decision helps out Drew's son because he was suspended for allegedly taking possession of the supposedly illegal guns. What the judge ruled is for a police officer, and Steve is a police officer," Peterson Attorney Joel Brodsky said.

"The state's position has always been Drew Peterson was not allowed to possess a weapon in that configuration," said Charles Pelke, Will County state's attorney spokesperson. " That has been our position from the start. So, we have to make a determination and review the ruling and decide whether we will proceed with appeal."

For now, there will be no trial on the gun charges, and there is no trial date in sight for the Savio murder case. It is on appeal, and Peterson is in jail. His attorneys argue the state doesn't have enough evidence to move forward with the trial, but the state says it is gathering evidence, and the judge says, for now, Peterson remains behind bars.

Load Comments