Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017|9:10 a.m.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill.– The use of hearsay testament to convict previous Chicago-area policeman Drew Peterson in the death of his third better half appertained, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled Thursday in maintaining the conviction.
The high court, in an unanimous decision, found that hearsay statement from Peterson’s dead 3rd better half and missing fourth partner did not violate his constitutional right to challenge his accusers since of evidence that Peterson eliminated them to prevent their testimony.
The 63-year-old previous authorities sergeant from the Chicago residential area of Bolingbrook is serving a 38-year sentence in the 2004 death of ex-wife Kathleen Savio. He’ll follow that with 40 more years after a conviction in 2015 on claims that he plotted to kill the prosecutor who put him behind bars.
Savio’s body was discovered in a dry bath tub in 2004, weeks before a set up hearing to identify financial and child custody problems related to her divorce from Peterson. Her death was at first ruled accidental, however the case was reopened after the 2007 disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Savio’s body was exhumed, an autopsy was conducted and her death was ruled a murder.
Stacy Peterson is presumed dead, though her body has actually never been discovered. Drew Peterson stays a suspect in her disappearance, however he has never been charged.
Prosecutors had no physical proof connecting Peterson to Savio’s death and no witnesses placing him at the scene, so they relied on hearsay– statements Savio made to family members and in a written declaration to cops prior to she passed away and that Stacy Peterson made to her pastor and a divorce lawyer prior to she disappeared.
Rumor is any info reported by a witness that is not based on the witness’ direct understanding. The Illinois court’s judgment, written by Justice Margaret Theis, discovered appropriate usage of hearsay– generally forbidden in criminal procedures due to the fact that it cannot be challenged– under a legal doctrine of “loss by misdeed.”
“We can not state that the trial court’s finding that the state showed that accused murdered Kathleen to avoid her from testifying was ‘unreasonable, approximate, or not based on the proof presented,'” Theis composed.
An attorney for Peterson did not instantly respond to a request for discuss the ruling.
Illinois embraced a hearsay law in 2008 customized to Drew Peterson’s case, dubbed “Drew’s Law,” which helped in making a few of the evidence admissible.
Peterson was moved from a state jail in Chester, Illinois, to a federal jail in Terre Haute, Indiana, in February, after Illinois prison authorities cited concerns that he presented a security hazard.