Attorneys: Drew Tried to Hire Killer - NBC New York

Attorneys: Drew Tried to Hire Killer

$20 million bond will stand, judge rules

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    Attorneys: Drew Tried to Hire Killer
    Peterson, 55, appeared tired and glum in court on Thursday.

    Surprising new allegations came out Friday in the case against Drew Peterson.  During a bond reduction hearing, the state's attorney said he believes the former police officer tried to hire someone for $25,000 to kill his third wife in 2003.

    Kathleen Savio's body was found in a bathtub in 2004, with a gash on the back of her head.  Her death was initially ruled an accidental drowning, but the case was reopened after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in 2007.  A second autopsy on Savio's body ruled it a homicide.  Peterson is now charged with the murder.

    Prosecutors also said that three weeks before Savio's death, Drew told another Bolingbrook cop he would be better off if she were dead, because he'd be ruined by their divorce.

    Peterson's attorney, Joel Brodsky, denied the hit man allegation and that Drew talked to another cop about killing Savio.

    "Amazing how people are suddenly starting to remember these things in the last six weeks," Brodsky said.  "Obviously, someone came forward and we're going to find out who it is ... but in these high-profile cases, they often bring people out of the woodwork making allegations"

    Savio's family — who long said they believed Peterson killed her — was shocked at the attempted hit allegations.

    "Finally someone's listening to us," said Sue Doman, Savio's sister. "This is a victory for our sister, Kathleen."

    Shackled as usual, Peterson appeared in court Friday as his attorneys asked a judge to reduce his $20 million bond.  James Glasgow, the Will County state's attorney, said if Drew posted bail, it "would come from blood money from Kathleen Savio."

    Circuit Judge Carla J. Alessio Policandriotes denied the motion, meaning Drew would still have to post $2 million -- 10 percent of the full bond -- to be freed pending trial.

    Policandriotes took over the murder case Thursday, after prosecutors successfully removed the Will County presiding judge who they claimed was "prejudice against the state."   On Friday, Glasgow said he was confident in his case.

    "I believe the likelihood of a guilty verdict is strong," Glasgow said.

    Peterson is also a suspect Stacy's disappearance.

    He has long maintained his innocence in Savio's death, and said Stacy probably just ran off with another man.

    Results of a Thursday autopsy on decayed partial human remains found along the Des Plaines River were inconclusive, but Stacy Peterson's family is hopeful they are hers. An expedited DNA analysis will likely take about two weeks.

    Drew Peterson's lead attorney said he and his infamous client are confident the grisly discovery is insignificant to their case.

    "I can just tell you we are not at all concerned," attorney Joel Brodsky said. "Not one bit."