Drew Peterson trial date set for July 23

May 17, 2012 (JOLIET, Ill.)

When the judge asked Peterson if a July 30 trial date was ok with him, he replied, "Yes, your honor, I've been in solitary confinement for three years."

And now, more than three years after he was arrested for the murder of his third wife, Peterson is finally going to trial. A July 23 date has been set for jury selection, with opening arguments beginning July 30.

There were a slew of defense motions Thursday. One had to do with Stacy Peterson. Judge Edward Burmila ruled that prosecutors cannot make any reference to her being dead.

Drew Peterson's defense team accomplished some of what they wanted by limiting what hearsay evidence the judge will hear.

"It went very well today," said Peterson attorney Joel Brodsky. "The judge made some very important rulings in our favor."

The appellate court gave prosecutors the right to use hearsay evidence at trial, but now, because of defense motions, the state has to be careful how they present certain evidence and how they refer to the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy.

"We had a productive hearing today on a number of motions, and Judge Burmila made some very insightful rulings," said Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. "We're looking forward to the trial date we've set today."

Peterson is charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, after she was found dead in 2004.

"I'm glad my sister finally has a voice to be spoken," said Susan Doman. "She's gone through a lot, with domestic violence situation, and I'm glad she finally has a voice."

What wasn't decided Thursday was whether testimony from Savio's divorce lawyer violated attorney client privilege.

"I can tell you that we're pleased that the judge is going to enforce the law," said Peterson lawyer Steven Greenberg. "What's occurred here, in passing a law trying to get in hearsay statements and violating privileges and attorneys' ethics, is just atrocious."

Drew Peterson has not been charged in connection with Stacy Peterson's disappearance and denies any wrongdoing.

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