Peterson denies involvement in death, disappearance

February 28, 2008 4:02:07 PM PST
Drew Peterson once again denied any involvement in the death of his third wife Thursday. Last week, a coroner ruled that Kathleen Savio was murdered. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police officer, has denied involvement in her death, as well as in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. He said Stacy ran off with another man.

Stacy Peterson has been missing for four months. Since then, Peterson has complained about the media attention, but rarely shied away from the cameras.

During Thursday's interview on NBC's Today Show, Peterson said he is mentally ready to go to jail if arrested. Several times, Peterson said he did not know how to respond to the interviewer's questions. His most lengthy answer was in response to Savio's autopsy results.

"It was kind of shocking. We believed for the last four years that her death was accidental. That was with a fresh autopsy. Now all of a sudden there's new autopsy with an old body, let's say. And that's been ruled a homicide. I'm kind of suspicious of it," said Peterson.

Savio's family said there is nothing suspicious about the autopsy results. They had always believed she was murdered and said they are relieved the truth is now out.

"We didn't think it would happen. It's a shame the whole Stacy thing had to start to get them to look," said Anna Doman, Savio's sister.

Four years ago, Savio's death was ruled an accidental drowning by a coroner's inquest jury. A former juror told ABC News Savio's death was suspicious, but the jury was not given enough evidence by the Will County State's Attorney or coroner to conclude she was murdered.

"With all the information that's been gathered since then, if that info presented at the time, I think I may have ruled it murder instead of accidental death," said Jim Pretto, former juror.

Pretto says the jury was not presented with information about spousal abuse or threats to Savio's life. Three weeks before she was killed, Savio told her sister she feared for her life.

"He's going to kill me. He told me he's going to kill me. He told me He's never going to let me have the kids," said Doman.

Pretto said he feels guilty about the jurors' conclusion four years ago.

"If we came back with murder instead, maybe Stacy Peterson would be here today," said Pretto.

Pretto said the jury's decision was not binding. Therefore, the Will County State's Attorney or coroner could have overruled the jurors' decision.

Peterson's TV appearance was watched by Stacy's family. Spokeswoman Pam Bosco said she does not understand why Petersons' attorney continues to let his client do interviews.