Drew Peterson's prison buddy cross-examined in murder-for-hire-trial

CHESTER, Ill. (WLS) -- Drew Peterson's prison buddy was cross-examined by defense attorneys Thursday in the former Bolingbrook police officer's murder-for-hire trial.

At the end of the day, prosecutors played a portion of Peterson's address to the court the day he was sentenced for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. It was meant to reinforce what prosecutors say is a grudge against Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow. The tape was played after several hours of the defense's cross-examining of their star witness.

Peterson's defense attorney hammered away at Antonio Smith's credibility during cross-examination following two full days of listening to undercover recorded conversations between the two of them.

Convicted in 2011 for attempted murder, the defense tried to paint the 25-year-old as an opportunist who took advantage of his friendship with Peterson to try and obtain an early release and money to start a new life.

"I'll do anything you want to get your (expletive) conviction," Smith was heard saying during an initial interview with the FBI and Will County investigators.

Smith was made to read several jailhouse letters between himself and a former cellmate. In them, Smith claims to be negotiating an early release, and entry into the witness protection program for both of them.

In court, Smith said those claims were lies to ensure his former cellmate's silence regarding his plan to wear a wire for the FBI and the only deal Smith is heard making with them during the interview played Thursday is a prison transfer needed to ensure his safety.

The FBI did admit to paying Smith a total of $3,700 to reimburse him, they say, for lost property over the course of several prison moves. They also said they passed along a sentence reduction request to Franklin County, which is expected to be denied.

The defense is expected to put on its case starting Friday, by calling several inmates who have been incarcerated with both Peterson and Smith.

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