Peterson, 58, a former Bolingbrook police officer, was shackled at the wrists and ankles for the brief status hearing. He wore glasses and a blue jail jumpsuit. He is set to stand trial in Will County on charges he killed his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Will County Associate Judge Edward Burmila, a former state's attorney, was assigned as the case's new judge. Attorneys hope to begin jury selection within 60 to 90 days.
His attorneys said they would not appeal a court's decision to allow so-called hearsay evidence in the trial.
"Drew is very happy that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel, that the process is moving forward," said Peterson attorney, Joel Brodsky.
Peterson is charged with the 2004 drowning death of Savio. In 2007, his fourth wife, Stacey Peterson, disappeared and while he remains a suspect, he has not been charged in that case.
"He's pleased now that the waiting and sitting on his hands is over with and we're at least moving in the right direction, which is towards a trial," said Brodsky.
He was set to stand trial in the summer of 2010 when prosecutors announced they were going to appeal a judge's decision to forbid then from presenting some key hearsay evidence in that case. Last month, an appellate court ruled that the evidence could be presented.
"We're very gratified that we finally have the appellate court opinion back as directed by the Supreme Court of Illinois and to prevail in the appeal," said state's attorney James Glasgow. "We are ready for trial and we're anxious to get this case into a courtroom."
"It gives these women a voice in court," said Pam Bosco, Stacy Peterson family spokesperson, referring to the hearsay evidence. "If it is the only way for them to be heard, we're happy."
Peterson's attorneys plan to file a number of motions before a May 17 hearing.
"An attorney that represented both Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio has blabbed everything that he was told, which is one of the most egregious breaches of attorney-client privilege that I have ever seen and never should have taken place," said attorney Steven Greenberg, also on the Peterson legal team. "So we're going to file a motion to strike all of that from testimony and prevent him from testifying."