Criminal Justice

Drew Peterson gets 38 years for murder of 3rd wife

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Insisting that he has been wrongly convicted for a murder he did not commit, a former suburban Chicago police sergeant spoke at length before his sentencing Thursday for the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and said “rumors, gossip, outrageous lies and, most importantly, unreliable hearsay” were to blame.

Drew Peterson could have gotten as much as 60 years in the Will County case, but Judge Edward Burmila gave him 38 years in recognition of his police and military service, the Chicago Tribune reports in an extensive article about the hearing.

Seeking a maximum sentence, State’s Attorney James Glasgow argued that Peterson also threatened and even attacked his second wife and has left his children with his fourth wife effectively without any parents. His fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, is missing, and prosecutors have said they believe Drew Peterson is responsible, although he has never been charged concerning her disappearance.

Peterson, however, contended that his mistake was talking to the media who hounded him concerning what became a very highly publicized, sensational case. He blamed the bad publicity that resulted for helping to ensure his conviction. “Everybody from busybodies like Nancy Grace … to that ridiculous movie that played repeatedly before and during my trial,” he said, referring to Drew Peterson: Untouchable, a made-for-television Lifetime drama that starred Rob Lowe as Peterson.

“Until this happened, I thought I was a great guy,” Peterson said. “And in moments, the media turned me into a monster.”

A KABC story about the sentencing notes that Judge Edward Burmila earlier Thursday denied a defense motion for a new trial based on claimed ineffective assistance of counsel during Peterson’s trial.

Earlier coverage: “Divorce Lawyer Testimony in Drew Peterson Trial: 4th Wife Mulled Accusing Him of Murdering 3rd Wife” “Former Cop Drew Peterson Found Guilty of Murdering His Wife, Faces Up to 60 Years in Prison” “Drew Peterson Lawyer Accused of ‘Hornbook Errors’ and ‘Smorgasbord of Ethical Violations’” “Former Drew Peterson lawyer sues onetime co-counsel and news outlets for libel”

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