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“Hearsay” Brings Guilty Verdict to Drew Peterson for Murder

Drew Peterson
Scott Olsen / Getty Images

Word has broken this Thursday afternoon that former Chicago area police officer Drew Peterson has been found guilty of murdering his 3rd wife based on secondhand hearsay.

Peterson has gained national attention over the years because of the case with 3rd wife Kathleen Savio and the disappearance of 4th wife Stacy Ann Cales, who was about 30 years younger than Drew.

Savio was found dead on March 1, 2004, in a waterless bathtub.  Originally ruled an accidental drowning by a coroner’s jury, but suspicions were raised when Cales was reported missing on October 29, 2007.  The disappearance brought about Savio’s body being exhumed a few weeks later, and upon examination the discovery was made that this “accidental drowning” was a homicide made to look like an accident.

Peterson found himself on talk shows over the years with his lawyer present expressing his innocence to anyone who may listen.  A Lifetime movie was done in 2011 around both cases called Drew Peterson: Untouchable starring Rob Lowe and Kelly Cuoco.

Peterson was brought on charges in May of 2009, and now over 3 years later he faces a term of up to 60 years in prison.  Peterson will face sentencing on November 26 – the state of Illinois does not have the death penalty.

Prosecutors built this case around secondhand hearsay, which was a first in Illinois history.  The strategy was risky, but the plan was to have Drew’s 3rd and 4th wives speak from the grave through family and friends.

Today’s verdict still opens this case to appeal since it was based on hearsay, which by definition is any information reported by a witness that is not based on their direct knwoledge.

The ramifications from today’s verdict could open the floodgates for admissibility of evidence like that in the Peterson trial.

A more detailed account of this case can be found by clicking here.



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