Last September, Drew Peterson was charged with the murder of his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, in after a long, highly publicized trial in court. On Thursday, Peterson attended his sentencing hearing where he was awarded 38 years in prison for his crimes but not before he was able to get in a few passionate words in his own defense. During the hearing, Peterson stepped up to address the judge who would determine his penalties and passionately yelled into the courtroom microphone, insisting that he was innocent. "I did not kill Kathleen," exclaimed the former Chicago policeman, who up until this point had remained calm and confident throughout the entire trial proceeding. Spectators, who were shocked at the man's behavior, reported that Peterson had an air of self-pity on Thursday, pleading with the judge for his innocence. The prosecutor in the trial was not affected by Peterson's performance and neither was the judge who sentenced him.
Kathleen Savio was found dead in a dry bathtub in 2004 by her neighbors. Her death was originally ruled an accident at the time. It was the disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, which led authorities to reexamine Savio's death and reclassify it as an accident. The trial, which began in 2009 and concluded in 2012, included an argument by the prosecution that Peterson had motive to kill Savio because a pending settlement at the time could have potentially left him financially devastated. The jury convicted Peterson of the crime and since Illinois does not have the death penalty, the defendant had initially faced a maximum sentence of 60 years. He was given credit for the four years he served while the trial was going on and then given an addition 38 years to serve for his conviction. Peterson is also being investigated for the disappearance of 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, which will be brought to court in a separate trial and could result in an added sentence for him.
If you or someone you know is facing a murder accusation, it is impertinent to your case that you hire legal counsel immediately. At The Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman, we make it a point to provide our clients with personalized, comprehensive legal service so that their rights and interests are protected. Contact a Michigan criminal attorney to discuss your case and learn more about how our firm wants to be your advocate.