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630-472-9700Available 24/7

Hearsay Evidence Allowed in High-Profile Illinois Murder Case

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Drew Peterson’s defense team is ending an almost two-year battle to stop hearsay evidence from being introduced at his pending murder trial. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook, Illinois police sergeant, is charged with killing his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio in 2004. Savio, who was Peterson’s third wife, was found dead in her dry bathtub and her death was originally ruled an accidental drowning. But in 2007, after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing, prosecutors exhumed Savio’s body and reopened the case. Peterson is the only suspect in Stacy Peterson’s disappearance.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, part of Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow case against Peterson is built on fourteen hearsay statements that he says would allow Savio and Stacy Peterson to speak from the grave. In 2008, Glasgow had lobbied for a new Illinois statute, which was dubbed Drew's Law, which ensured the statements could be heard. The statements were ruled inadmissible by the trial judge.

Earlier this month, a three-judge panel of the Third Appellate court ruled that eight of those statements are admissible under existing Illinois common law. And this week, the defense filed a motion saying they will not fight the ruling and requesting the appellate court return the case back to Will County court as soon as possible. The defense and prosecutors say they are both ready to get the trial moving.  Drew Peterson has been held at the Will County Adult Detention Center since his May 2009 indictment and arrest for Savio’s murder.

If you are facing criminal charges in Illinois, no matter what the evidence against you, consult an experienced DuPage county criminal defense attorney. Even convictions for crimes far less severe than murder can result in serious penalties, and a knowledgeable Naperville criminal lawyer can work to get any criminal charges lessened or dropped.

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