Drew Peterson case returns to court as ex-cop seeks to have conviction overturned

ByJessica D'Onofrio, John Garcia, and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, March 7, 2024
Drew Peterson case returns to court in quest for new trial
The Drew Peterson case returned to court Wednesday as he looks to overturn the conviction in the killing of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and get a new trial.

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- The Drew Peterson case returned to court Wednesday morning for a hearing in his attempt to get a new trial.

The convicted killer and former Bolingbrook police officer said his lead attorney Joel Brodsky did not allow him to testify on his own behalf during his trial back in 2012.

He believes his conviction in the killing of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, should be reversed.

Peterson is now 70 year old and continuing to push for this new trial where he could testify and maintain his innocence.

RELATED: Drew Peterson, ex-Bolingbrook police sergeant convicted of killing wife, to get fitness evaluation

Along with the Savio sentence, Peterson is serving time for plotting a murder for hire from prison to kill Will County States Attorney James Glasgow. He is also the prime suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacey Peterson who vanished in 2007, but has never been charged.

In connection to his bid to someday be free, ABC7 Legal Analyst Gil Soffer said it will be an uphill battle for Peterson.

"He has nothing to lose," Soffer said. "There's absolutely no reason why a man who's twice-convicted and serving decades in jail won't try everything he can to get out.

That's perfectly understandable. But it's a very hard thing for him to succeed at.

It's a very high level of proof he has to make after all this time, after all these appeals, after all these efforts."

Peterson was not in court for the status hearing. His attorney said he recently underwent a mental health evaluation to determine his competency, but the results were not yet available.

Meanwhile, his former attorney Brodsky now faces contempt of court charges for allegedly violating a gag order by discussing the case during a recent nationally televised interview.

Brodsky, who appeared at the hearing Wednesday morning, has told media outlets that he has information that could solve the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacey Peterson.

In court, Brodsky told Judge David Carlson that he did not discuss anything regarding attorney client conversations that would be prohibited by the gag order.

"I've watched that video a dozen times and it's not there. There's no violation of attorney-client privilege," Brodsky said.

The judge appointed a special prosecutor to handle the Brodsky case after Glasgow said it would be a conflict of interest for his office to prosecute Brodsky because Brodsky could be called as a witness in a new Peterson trial.

Brodsky has been ordered not to talk about his representation of the Peterson case until the next hearing on April 1.

While the two cases are separate, Drew Peterson his former attorney are both due back in court early next month for status hearings, which will determine what happens next for both of them.