Stepbrother: Drew indicated he'd kill wife Stacy

January 21, 2010 4:35:03 PM PST
There was some dramatic testimony Thursday during the hearing to determine if hearsay evidence can be used against Drew Peterson. A key witness, Thomas Morphey, told the court Peterson talked about killing his fourth wife, Stacy. Morphey, Peterson's stepbrother, also described how Peterson may have disposed of the body.

Peterson has not been charged with Stacy's murder. But he is charged with the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

This hearsay hearing is about the murder case of Kathleen Savio, but the majority of the testimony Thursday was about Stacy Peterson and what may have happened to her the weekend she disappeared.

Morphey trusted and looked up to his stepbrother Drew Peterson until, Morphey says, he became scared to death of the former Bolingbrook cop. In a pre-trial hearsay hearing, 42-year-old Morphey detailed the conversations and interactions he had with Peterson the weekend that Stacy Peterson disappeared.

One day before Peterson's fourth wife was reported missing, Morphey testified that Peterson took him on a drive to a park. On the way, Morphey said, "Drew asked me, 'How much do you love me?' I said, 'I do'. He said, 'Enough to kill for me?' I said, 'I always assumed you killed Kathleen.' He said, 'I would never kill Kathleen. She was a good mother'."

"We've always said that from the beginning of this case that Mr. Morphey has very serious credibility issues. That's becoming apparent," said Joel Brodsky, Peterson attorney.

Brodsky says Morphey's admitted history of mental illness and alcohol problems do not make him a credible witness. Despite that, Morphey calmly testified that the day before Stacy went missing, Peterson told him she wanted a divorce and was kicking him out of their Bolingbrook home. Morphey said, "He told me he planned to do something to Stacy."

Morphey said both men discussed renting a storage unit where Peterson wanted to store an air airtight container for six months until he could dispose of it. The following night, the same night Stacy was reported missing, Morphey was inside Peterson's home. Morphey said Peterson walked out of his master bedroom and "he had a large barrel-like container...he had me grab an end, he grabbed the other end. It felt warm."

Morphey testified that Peterson drove him home and said, " 'This never happened.' I said, 'I will not tell a soul' ."

Under cross-examination, Morphey was asked why he never called 911 during that time, specifically on that Sunday, and Morphey answered that he was afraid Drew Peterson would shoot him because Drew always carried a weapon.

Morphey testified that he never saw what was inside that blue barrel, but based on the conversations he had with Peterson that Saturday and the events that took place Sunday, he is assuming that it was Stacy Peterson's body in the blue barrel.

Later in the afternoon, testimony turned back to Kathleen Savio. Peterson's oldest son, Eric, testified that he saw his dad physically abuse Savio in the early 1990s.