Drew Peterson's Lawyer Asks Federal Court to Let Accused Killer Out of Jail
As the former Bolingbrook police sergeant awaits trial, his lawyer filed a federal appeal today to get him released from jail. Meanwhile, his son could be fired from his police job.
CHICAGO – Attorneys for accused wife-killer Drew Peterson filed an appeal in federal court in hopes of having the disgraced former cop sprung from jail while he awaits trial.
Joseph "Shark" Lopez, one of the five lawyers defending Peterson against charges he murdered his third wife, Kathleen Savio, said he filed the appeal today.
Lopez said he could not discuss contents of the appeal as it was filed under seal.
Peterson allegedly drowned Savio in March 2004 but was not arrested until the disappearance of his next wife, Stacy Peterson, attracted attention to her death.
The State Police have said they suspect Drew Peterson might have killed Stacy Peterson as well, but have yet to bring charges against the disgraced former Bolingbrook cop.
Stacy Peterson vanished in October 2007. She remains missing and the State Police have labeled her case a "potential homicide." Peterson was jailed in connection with Savio's death in May 2009.
Peterson's attorneys first appealed Peterson's continued incarceration after prosecutors pulled the plug on his July trial at the eleventh hour. The trial was postponed indefinitely when Will Count State's Attorney James Glasgow appealed Judge Stephen White's decision on what hearsay testimony will be allowed as evidence.
The State Appellate Court shot down the initial appeal, prompting Lopez and his team of attorneys to step up the ladder to federal court.
Charles B. Pelkie, spokesman for the State's Attorney's Office, said he was unaware of the latest appeal in Drew Peterson's murder case.
"We have not received any notification on this," Pelkie said. "Obviously we'll deal with this on a federal level if need be."
Peterson's Son Could Lose His Job
Drew Peterson is not the only cop in his family in trouble and under scrutiny in connection with Stacy's disappearance. His son, Oak Brook Patrol Officer Stephen Peterson, is under the gun at his own department and faces a disciplinary hearing Tuesday night that may end with him losing his job.
Stephen Peterson is in trouble with Oak Brook Chief Thomas Sheehan for stashing an illegal assault weapon for his father just before the State Police executed a search warrant at Drew Peterson's home in November 2007. The state police were looking for Stacy Peterson, or some clue as to what may have befallen her.
Stephen Peterson admitted under oath that Drew Peterson smuggled the gun into his possession in the days before the search. Stephen Peterson was testifying about the gun during a pretrial hearing in a felony weapon case the state brought against his father. Drew Peterson was arrested on the charge in May 2009 for allegedly possessing an assault weapon with a barrel shorter than the state-mandated 16 inches.
Judge Richard Schoenstedt dismissed the weapon case Oct. 1. He ruled that prosecutors failed to prove Peterson was not protected by a federal law allowing police officers to carry concealed weapons.
The Oak Brook Police and Fire Board blocked out three nights to hear testimony in Stephen Peterson's hearing, with each session slated for three hours.