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Friday, May 22, 2009

Drew Peterson tried to pay $25,000 to have Kathleen Savio killed

May 22, 2009
Staff Reporter
Chicago Sun-Times

A few months before his third wife drowned in a bathtub, Drew Peterson offered someone $25,000 to kill her, Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow contended today in court as he sought to keep Peterson jailed on murder charges in Kathleen Savio’s death.

And just three weeks before Savio’s 2004 death, Peterson — then a Bolingbrook cop — complained to another officer that his pending divorce would be so financially devastating that “my life would be easier if she were just dead,” Glasgow said.

The new details emerged as Glasgow argued that Peterson should remain jailed on a $20 million bond set earlier this month when he was arrested for allegedly drowning Savio during what Glasgow called a “vitriolic” divorce.

After hearing the new information, Will County Judge Carla Alessio Policandriotes refused to lower the bond — which would require the 55-year-old Peterson to post $2 million to be released from the Will County Adult Detention Facility.

Peterson’s attorneys have said the former police sergeant can’t post that much money and had asked that the bond be reduced to no more than $1 million.

Savio’s relatives said they were pleased that Peterson will remain behind bars as the case against him proceeds, but were stunned by the claims that Peterson allegedly tried to hire someone to kill Savio.

“It was a shock to us,” said Savio’s sister, Sue Doman. “It brought tears to our eyes.” “It’s a very bittersweet victory,” Anna Doman, another of Savio’s sisters, said of the decision to let Peterson’s bond stand.

Outside the courtroom, Glasgow would only say that he was pleased the judge didn’t reduce a bond he described as “appropriate.”

Defense attorneys, however, dismissed the new allegations against Peterson, saying prosecutors won’t be able to prove those claims when Peterson stands trial.

Still, Peterson was “a little bit taken aback” by the decision not to reduce his bond at all, defense attorney Joel Brodsky said.

Even before Judge Policandriotes ruled on the bond reduction, however, defense attorneys had raised a suggestion that she remove herself from the case because of her purported earlier involvement with the Peterson-Savio divorce case.

Brodsky in court said Policandriotes signed a legal order that dissolved a protective order that Savio had obtained during the divorce case barring Peterson from having any contact with Savio.
The judge also had signed an order relating to attorneys fees in the divorce, said Brodsky, who could offer no paperwork documenting those claims when asked by Policandriotes.

For her part, the judge said she didn’t remember being involved in any facet of that case.
“I have absolutely no recollection of entering orders in the Savio-Peterson divorce case,” she said.

After the hearing, defense attorneys said they still may seek to replace Policandriotes — who only was appointed Thursday to hear Peterson’s murder case. “I won’t totally foreclose that option,” Brodsky said.

During the court hearing, Glasgow also said that Peterson remains the “only suspect” in the still-unsolved 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

Stacy’s sister said after the hearing that she is pleased that Peterson will remain behind bars while he awaits trial for Savio’s slaying. “I’m going to sleep good tonight,” Cassandra Cales said.

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