Drew Peterson, the high-profile ex-police officer from Illinois, was charged with firs-degree murder in his third and former wife Kathleen Savio’s 2004 drowning death. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison yesterday and was transferred this morning from the Will County jail to Stateville Correctional Center.
Peterson was the target of much media attention since the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, in 2007. Peterson was arrested in 2009 and held in solitary confinement due to his case’s high-profile nature.
During his last chance to speak before being sentenced, Peterson yelled to the courtroom, “I did not kill Kathleen!” upsetting Savio’s sister, Sue Doman, who yelled back, “Yes, you did!”
Doman was removed from the courtroom following her response, but Will County Circuit Judge Edward Burmila advised Peterson to refrain from saying things meant to directly agitate the victim’s family.
Peterson claimed that he was framed for Savio’s death and claimed that witnesses, prosecutors, police, Savio’s family, attorneys and the media all had it out for him.
“The state took an accident and staged a homicide,” he said.
Peterson said he believes he will die in prison. If he is not given a chance to appeal, he will be 93 years old before he can be released.
Defending his media appearances, Peterson said he responded to the situation he found himself in with humor. Peterson went on to directly address Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow, asking him to look at his face and remember it for what Glasgow has done.
Glasgow responded to reporters later, saying that that was the first time he looked at Peterson or acknowledged his existence and thought, “You’re a cold-blooded murderer, and I’ll stare you down ‘til I die.”