Jury begins deliberating in Peterson murder-for-hire trial
CHESTER, Ill. (AP) -- Jurors started deliberations Tuesday in the murder-for hire trial of former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson, who is accused of trying to hire an inmate's uncle to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.
The jury started deliberating at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, after closing arguments in the trial that started last week. Glasgow helped convict Peterson, 62, in 2012 in the killing of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio. Peterson is serving a 38-year sentence and faces up to 60 more years in prison.
On Tuesday, prosecutors said prison recordings of Peterson speaking with a fellow inmate prove he wanted the prosecutor killed.
"It's the defendant's own words that prove him guilty beyond reasonable doubt," said Steve Nate of the Illinois attorney general's office. The office is assisting Randolph County prosecutors.
Peterson's fellow inmate, Antonio "Beast" Smith, wore a wiretap for prosecutors, and jurors heard hours of Smith's recorded conversations with Peterson at Menard Correctional Center in November 2014.
Nate pointed to a specific section of secret recordings in which Smith tells Peterson he gave his uncle the go ahead to kill Glasgow.
"OK, all right I'm in," Peterson responded. "From the first time we talked about it, there was no turning back."
But Peterson's defense lawyer Lucas Liefer told jurors Peterson never explicitly says in the recordings that he wanted Glasgow killed. Liefer called Smith unreliable and asked for a shortened prison term in exchange for help with the Peterson case.
"This case is wrought with inconsistency and incomplete evidence," Liefer said.
Savio's death was initially deemed accidental. Glasgow reopened the case after the 2007 disappearance of Stacy Peterson, Peterson's 23-year-old fourth wife. Peterson was never charged in her disappearance but told the informant he worried that Glasgow would eventually do so.