Jury convicts ex-cop of murder in third wife's death

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JOLIET, Ill. (AP) — She loomed over Drew Peterson’s murder trial, though her disappearance and the suspicion that the former Illinois police officer killed her was never mentioned in front of the jury.

But since jurors found Peterson guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, could now take center stage.

“We are going to aggressively review that case with an eye towards potentially charging it,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow told reporters outside the Joliet courthouse shortly after jurors convicted Drew Peterson of killing Savio.

While Peterson faces up to 60 years in prison, the legal issues surrounding the accusations against him may be far from resolved. In addition to the separate Stacy Peterson case, his attorneys have vowed to appeal Thursday’s conviction based on the unprecedented amount of secondhand hearsay evidence entered at trial. One of them vowed to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Peterson, 58, was only charged in Savio’s death after his fourth wife vanished in 2007. Stacy Peterson is presumed dead, though her body has never been found. Her husband is a suspect in her disappearance but has never been charged in the case.

Stacy Peterson’s sister, in court to hear the guilty verdict Thursday, sounded optimistic that charges in her sister’s case would soon follow. “He’ll be charged. It’ll come,” Cassandra Cales said.

Savio’s family was as relieved Thursday as Stacy Peterson’s was hopeful. As she stepped out of the courtroom after the verdict, Savio’s sister, Susan Doman, threw herself into the arms of her husband.

“Finally, finally, finally,” Mitch Doman, Savio’s brother-in-law, said as he and his wife cried. Seconds later, he looked up at a reporter and said with a smile, “We finally got that murdering bastard!”

Glasgow drew cheers outside the courthouse. “He was a thug,” Glasgow said of Peterson. “He would threaten people because he had a gun and a badge. Nobody would take him on, but we took him on and he lost.”

Peterson is to be sentenced Nov. 26.

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