Drew Peterson loses appeal; court upholds murder conviction, sentence

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Friday, November 13, 2015
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An Illinois appellate court has affirmed former police officer Drew Peterson's murder conviction and sentence in the 2004 death of his third wife.

OTTAWA, Ill. (WLS) -- An Illinois appellate court affirmed Drew Peterson's conviction and sentence on Friday. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant is serving a 38-year sentence for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

On Friday, Kathleen Savio's brother said he felt "ecstatic" that Peterson would not get away with murder.

"To describe in words what it feels for us - it's this phenomenal, ecstatic feeling. For once, things are going our way," said Nick Savio. "Now that I know he's going to rot in jail for his life, it's just great. Great, great for us and great for all the supporters that we have."

Savio was found dead in her bathtub in 2004. It was ruled an accident, but when Peterson's fourth wife Stacy went missing three years later, questions swirled about Savio's death.

Savio's body was exhumed, and after several legal battles, Peterson was convicted of her murder in September 2012. Stacy Peterson is still missing.

"I can only hope that Stacy's family, I can only hope they get justice one day for her," Nick Savio said.

In the Savio case, the third district court wrote this week that the "...evidence was sufficient to prove defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt..."

"It's the ultimate vindication after 8 years of vitriolic criticism," said James Glasgow, Will County state's attorney. "This proves that every aspect of what we were doing was correct and in line with the law."

"It doesn't tell us why we're wrong, it just says you're wrong. Well, if you think I'm wrong, tell me why I'm wrong. If you can't tell me why I'm wrong, then I'm probably right and you just don't want to say it," said Steve Greenburg, Peterson's attorney.

Peterson's attorney already plans to appeal. Nick Savio says he expected that, and still feels confident.

"They have failed three times already now, and I have faith they will fail a fourth time," Nick Savio said.

Peterson's attorney said he will file an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court by the end of the year.