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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Judge: No guns for Drew Peterson

But his son probably will get them
May 13, 2008
Staff Reporter

Drew Peterson won't be getting back 10 guns authorities seized last year, but his police officer son appears likely to end up with the weapons, Peterson's attorney said today.

A Will County judge signaled during a hearing that he appears ready to order police to relinquish the guns taken during a search of Peterson's Bolingbrook home last fall after the disappearance of Peterson's third wife, Stacy.

"This court is of the opinion the state cannot withhold the firearms indefinitely," said Judge Richard Schoenstedt, who deferred a formal ruling until later this month on the request by Peterson for the release of the guns.

Peterson and his attorney have sought to get the guns back for months. In February, Schoenstedt ordered investigators to return two vehicles, two computers and the guns to Peterson — but authorities blocked the return of the guns by revoking Peterson's firearm owners identification card.

Peterson then sought to have the guns released to his adult son, Stephen, a suburban police officer.

Will County prosecutors have objected to the release, contending the weapons are still being analyzed by police as part of their investigation into Stacy Peterson's Oct. 28 disappearance and the 2004 drowning death of Drew Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio.

"There's no compelling need to return these items to a family member of Drew Peterson in the middle of what could be a murder investigation," prosecutor John Connor argued during the hearing.

Peterson's attorney Joel Brodsky, though, said the judge's comments "indicate very strongly" that he plans to order the weapons be released to Peterson's son.

"Based on what the judge said, I'm fairly certain," Brodsky said after the hearing.

He and co-counsel Andrew Abood have argued the weapons —a variety of shotguns and pistols —belong to Peterson and can't be held indefinitely while police investigate Savio's death and Stacy Peterson's disappearance.

"They're valuable property my client legally owns," Brodsky said of the weapons, which he estimated are worth $10,000. "It's time for the weapons to be taken out of the state's hands.

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