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Illinois Supreme Court upholds Drew Peterson murder conviction

He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

On March 1, 2004, Savio was found dead in the bathtub.

Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing on October 28, 2007 and her disappearance made investigators suspicious about Savio's death.

Peterson asserted that the ban on hearsay should have prevented admission of Kathleen Savio's statements to police about an incident where he pinned her to the stairs for three hours and threatened her with a knife, as well as her statements to family members that Peterson had threatened to kill her and make it look like an accident. On September 6, 2012, a jury found Peterson guilty.

Prosecutors had no physical proof binds Peterson to Savio's passing and no witnesses setting him at the scene, so they depended on gossip - proclamations Savio made to others before she kicked the bucket and that Stacy Peterson made before she vanished. Drew Peterson remains a suspect in her disappearance, but he has never been charged.

Hearsay is any information reported by a witness that is not based on the witness' direct knowledge.

The court said the hearsay statements were allowed under the common law doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing, which allows introduction of an absent witness's statements when the defendant's conduct prevented the witness from testifying.

"We can not say that the trial court's finding that the state proved that defendant murdered Kathleen to prevent her from testifying was 'unreasonable, arbitrary, or not based on the evidence presented, '" Theis wrote.

Peterson's attorney Steve Greenberg said he had been informed of the ruling Thursday morning. IL passed a gossip law in 2008 custom-made to Drew Peterson's case, named "Drew's Law", which helped with making a portion of the proof acceptable.

Peterson was exchanged from a state jail in Chester, Illinois, to a government jail in Terre Haute, Indiana, in February, after state jail authorities refered to worries that he represented a security risk.



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