Retired cop testifies at Drew Peterson 'hearsay' hearing

January 22, 2010 4:56:48 PM PST
The lead investigator in the death of Drew Peterson's third wife testified Friday at the hearsay hearing for Peterson's upcoming murder trial.Retired Illinois State Police Sergeant Patrick Collins explained why Kathleen Savio's death was originally declared an accident.

Friday was the third day of the hearing and both sides went after Collins hard.

Collins was the lead investigator looking into the death of Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio. The prosecution tried to show how Collins and his investigators could have gathered evidence linking Drew Peterson to Savio's death.

In the meantime, the defense was trying to convince the judge that the investigation was so botched that Savio's killer may never be identified.

Patrick Collins left the courthouse with little to say, after spending the day detailing why the 2004 death of Drew Peterson's third wife was ruled accidental and not a homicide.

"He's a police officer...26 years on the force. He knows what blood spatter is, he knows what D.N.A. is, he knows what trace evidence is," said Andrew Abood, Peterson's attorney.

In court, the 26-year veteran lawman appeared confused and unsure and even defensive at times as Peterson's co-defense attorney challenged him about his investigative techniques, asking why certain D.N.A. and trace evidence at the crime scene was not gathered and why Peterson was allowed to sit in on a police interview with Stacy Peterson.

Abood asked Collins, "would you have done anything differently?"

Collins said, "Yes, I would have interviewed more people because of this investigation." Then Collins added, "I'm not going to second guess myself. You could second guess anything."

While being questioned, Collins admited shortcomings in the investigation, saying that investigators believed that the death was as a result of a slip and fall. She was found dead in a bathtub in her home.

Collins went as far to describe himself as a naive first-year investigator who never considered Drew Peterson as a person of interest, simply because "we had no information he was a suspect at the time."

It was the first time that prosecutors tried to connect Drew Peterson to the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Peterson has not been charged in the disappearance but authorities say he's their only suspect.

Sharon Bychowski, a longtime friend and next-door neighbor of Stacy Peterson, told Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow that Drew told her that Stacy called him and said, "I met another man and I'm not coming back."