Witness: Peterson offered money to kill 3rd wife

January 28, 2010 3:58:59 PM PST
One of Drew Peterson's former co-workers testified Thursday that Peterson offered him money to kill Kathleen Savio. The testimony is part of a pre-trial hearing to determine what hearsay evidence can be introduced at Peterson's upcoming murder trial.

"It that's a hitman, that's got to be the most worst choice of a hitman in history of the world," said Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson defense attorney.

Brodsky reacted to testimony Thursday morning by a one-time Peterson co-worker that the former Bolingbrook police sergeant offered him $25,000 to find someone to kill his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

While being questioned by assistant Will County state's attorney John Connor, Jeffrey Pachter said during a ride along with the suburban cop, "Drew asked me if I knew anyone who could take care of his third wife." He said he simply replied, "OK."

Some six months later in July 2004 when Pachter called Drew to see how his current wife Stacy and their son were doing, he said Drew allegedly said, "by the way, the favor that I asked I don't need it anymore because Kathleen passed away." He added that Savio fell in a bathtub and hit her head.

"I don't think Drew would say anything like that. If he did, he was clearly joking around," said Brodsky.

Drew Peterson has been charged with first-degree murder in Savio's death which was initially ruled an accident.

The defense immediately characterized Pachter as a convicted sex offender who is unethical and a degenerate gambler who made up the story because Drew wouldn't loan him $1,000 to clear up his debt to a bookie.

Stacy Peterson disappeared in October 2007. Although Drew Peterson has not been charged, investigators have named him their only suspect.

Stacy Peterson's sister, Cassandra Cales, told the court about the night she reported her sister missing. Cales said Stacy feared for her life and that would never leave her children. Cales said when she called Drew looking for her sister, Drew told her that Stacy had left him taking $25,000 from a safe, the car titles, and the keys to the house. He allegedly said, "one minute we're having wild passionate sex and the next thing she wants to leave like your mother."

"I think it solidified that day, the timeline for the prosecution and I think also it showed the love that she had for her, her family and her children. We know without a doubt she would have never left on her own accord," said Pam Bosco, Stacy Peterson family spokesperson.

Testimony ended early Thursday afternoon because the father of one witness is reportedly gravely ill and the other had a scheduling conflict.

Stacy Peterson's pastor, the Reverend Neil Schori, is expected to take the stand Friday.