Lawyer: Stacy Peterson talked about extorting Drew

Drew Peterson leaves his home Monday, Nov 26, 2007 file photo in Bolingbrook. (M. Spencer Green/AP Photo)

February 8, 2010 4:53:53 PM PST
An attorney testified Monday that Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson's fourth wife, talked about extorting money from her husband just days before she vanished in 2007.Divorce attorney Harry C. Smith said Stacy Peterson once asked him how much money she could get from Drew Peterson if she threatened to go to police with information that he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Smith also testified his client, Savio, told him, "if I die, you have to call the authorities and tell him who did it...that Drew did it."

"I do a much better job now of listening to everything my clients are concerned about, no doubt about that," said Smith.

Smith represented Savio in her bitter divorce from Drew Peterson as well as in connection with battery charges related to her alleged attack of Peterson. Although charges were later dropped, the defense alleges Savio accused Drew Peterson of attacking her with knife only after she was charged with an attack.

Shortly after Savio's death, Smith was fired by James Carroll, the executor of Kathleen Savio's estate. Carroll, who is Drew Peterson's uncle, has previously testified he only did what Peterson told him to.

Smith also said he was contacted by Stacy Peterson just days before she went missing.

Thomas Morphey, Drew Peterson's stepbrother, earlier testified he may have helped the former Bolingbrook police sergeant to move Stacy's body in a blue container from her home.

Smith said Stacey asked, "could we get more money out of Drew if we threatened to tell police how he killed Kathy?"

After some 14 days and 60 witnesses, the prosecution could rest this week in a hearing that is supposed to decide what hearsay evidence if any can be heard in the upcoming murder trial of Drew Peterson in connection with the death of Kathleen Savio.