Judge rules Drew Peterson mentally competent to stand trial as he seeks overturned murder conviction

John Garcia Image
Thursday, April 4, 2024
Judge rules Drew Peterson mentally competent to stand trial
Former Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson was deemed mentally fit to stand trial Thursday as he seeks to overturn a conviction for Kathleen Savio's murder.

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- Drew Peterson appeared in court again Thursday, seeking to overturn his murder conviction.

A judge ruled Peterson mentally competent to stand trial.

The former Bolingbrook cop and convicted killer had his hair back in his familiar crew cut style, in contrast to the long-haired look he had in his last appearance.

He stood before the judge Thursday as his attorneys argued a recent psychological evaluation raised doubt that he is mentally competent.

Former Bolingbrook cop Drew Peterson's request to speak was denied by a judge Thursday. He returned to court seeking to overturn a murder conviction.

Peterson has filed a motion to overturn his 2012 murder conviction for the murder of his ex-wife Kathleen Savio. The 70-year-old former Bolingbrook police sergeant is serving a 38-year sentence for Savio's murder.

Police also say he is the prime suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Patterson, but he has never been charged in connection to her disappearance.

After standing silently throughout the hearing, at the end Peterson spoke up, asking judge Dave Carlson, "may I approach the bench?"

The judge responded and said no.

Peterson then said, "you look like you could handle yourself."

The judge replied, "I'm too old for that."

READ MORE | Drew Peterson case returns to court as ex-cop seeks to have murder conviction overturned

Security then escorted Peterson out of the courtroom.

Peterson claims he should get a new trial because his lawyer in the murder trial refused to let him testify in his own defense.

The lawyer, Joel Brodsky, is facing contempt of court charges for allegedly violating a gag order in the Peterson case by doing a nationally broadcast interview earlier this year.

Brodsky wanted the charge dismissed, saying his interview did not divulge attorney client information. Judge Carlson declined to dismiss the case and ordered Brodsky not to do any more interviews. He left the courthouse afterward without talking to reporters.

While their proceedings are completely separate, Peterson and Brodsky are both due back in court next month as their cases continue.