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Drew Peterson murder trial: guilty of killing Kathleen Savio

Jury returns guilty verdict in Drew Peterson murder trial.

Drew Peterson trial Enlarge
Drew Peterson will finally head to trial to face his murder charges. Peterson is accused of murdering his ex-wife. Peterson is also under investigation in the disappearance of his wife Stacy Peterson. (Scott Olson/AFP/Getty Images)

Drew Peterson is guilty of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, a jury decided today in Joliet, Illinois.

Savio died in 2004 as the couple divorced, Reuters reported.

First thought to be an accidental slip and fall in a dry bathtub, Peterson came under renewed scrutiny when his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished three years later.

“I knew it,” Savio’s brother-in-law, Mitch Doman, told the Chicago Tribune. “Now I can go out there and say he’s a murdering bastard. You can print that. You can put it in a headline.”

Prosecutors built much of their case on witnesses who said Peterson, 58, threatened Savio, 40, and tried to take a contract out on her life, Reuters said.

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After a five-year legal saga, the ex-cop now faces 60 years behind bars, The Associated Press reported.

A judge will sentence him on Nov. 26. Illinois doesn’t have the death penalty.

There was scant physical evidence against the former Chicago-area police sergeant.

Prosecutors managed to secure a guilty verdict based on “Drew’s Law,” which resulted from the Peterson case.

It allowed secondhand evidence to play a larger role in the trial, the AP said.

According to prosecutors, Peterson’s third and fourth wives could “speak from their graves” though witnesses thanks to the law, the AP said.

Part of what put the case in a national spotlight was Peterson’s bravado.

He appeared aloof on talkshows and went so far as saying since he was single, there should be a “Win a Date with Drew” contest, the AP said.

The Lifetime network filmed a movie based on the story called “Untouchable” starring Rob Lowe.

Stacy Peterson, 23 when she went missing, has never been found.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120906/drew-peterson-guilty-murder-kathleen-savio-stacy-peterson