Drew Peterson Case: Judge refuses to grant former cop a new murder trial
After the ruling, Judge Edward Burmila moved on to Peterson's sentencing hearing. The 59-year-old faces up to 60 years in prison for the 2004 death of Kathleen Savio.
Peterson's current legal team had argued for a new trial on grounds his former lead attorney, Joel Bodsky, botched the case.
Jurors convicted Peterson in September in the death of Savio. Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, but hasn't been charged in that case.
Peterson's current legal team had argued that Brodsky failed to adequately defend the former Bolingbrook police sergeant. Brodsky stepped down from the defense team in November as the lawyerly strife worsened.
Among the accusations from Steve Greenberg, who was on the trial team and still represents Peterson, is that Brodsky forced Peterson to stage a pretrial media blitz that harmed the ex-officer's cause.
Before his 2009 arrest, the glib, cocky Peterson seemed to taunt authorities, suggesting a "Win a Date With Drew Contest" and then, after his arrest, "Win a Conjugal Visit With Drew Contest." More recently, his story inspired a TV movie starring Rob Lowe.
The case began with a gruesome discovery. A neighbor came across Savio's body March 1, 2004. She was face down in her dry bathtub, her thick, black hair soaked in blood and a 2-inch gash was on the back of her head.
The drowning death of the 40-year-old aspiring nurse was initially deemed an accident. After Peterson's fourth wife, 23-year-old Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007, Savio's body was exhumed, re-examined and her death reclassified as a homicide.
Drew Peterson had divorced Savio a year before her death. His motive for killing her, prosecutors said, was fear that a pending settlement would wipe him out financially.
Fascination nationwide with the case arose from speculation that Peterson sought to parlay three decades of law enforcement expertise into getting away with murder.
- Atty: Charges will not be dropped in Kaitlyn Hunt case
- Jodi Arias jury: We can't decide sentence
- Fla. girl, 18, charged over underage same-sex relationship
- Jury deliberates possible death sentence for Jodi Arias
- "Anonymous" vows to petition Kaitlyn Hunt case
- Massive search underway for abducted teen in Iowa
- Cops: Barbara Walters' daughter charged with DUI in Fla.
- Iowa Cops: Man suspected of abducting 2 girls found dead
- Report: Dogs removed from kidnap suspect Castro's home
- Mom of Hailey Dunn, missing teen found dead, speaks out
- 3 teens charged with raping girl, 12, putting video on web
- Jodi Arias talks about suicide, what she'll do with her life in prison
- Friend: Man charged in missing Maine teen's death knew her
- Cops: NC woman tried to poison family members' cheese
- Report: Slain Conn. student Alyssiah Wiley found dismembered
- Arias to jury: Alexander's death "the worst mistake of my life"