Peterson Case Could Mean More Cameras In Courtrooms

OTTAWA, Ill. (CBS) — The Drew Peterson case could be opening the door to more TV cameras in Illinois courtrooms.

The 3rd District Illinois Appellate Court in Ottawa will allow cameras in for the first time for Peterson’s hearing on hearsay evidence.

While cameras are prohibited at the circuit court level, where state criminal proceedings are held, cameras have been allowed to film the Illinois Supreme Court since the 1980s.

But this will be the first appellate court proceeding to be broadcast live.

Peterson faces murder charges in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her body was found in a dry bathtub on March 1, 2004.

Savio’s death was originally ruled an accidental drowning, but her body was exhumed after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared on Oct. 29, 2007. A new autopsy reclassified Savio’s death as a homicide.

Stacy Peterson has long been presumed dead, but her body has never been found. Peterson is not charged in connection to her disappearance.

Peterson had been set to go to trial last summer, but the trial was halted the day before jury selection was to begin. Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow filed an appeal against county Judge Stephen B. White’s ruling regarding which statements will be allowed into evidence under the hearsay exception.

This is the appeal for which the hearing will be broadcast live.

Glasgow will ask the appellate panel to consider White’s ruling following an Illinois Supreme Court decision in the case of Eric Hanson, who was convicted of killing his parents, sister and brother-in-law in Naperville in 2005.

Last year, the court ruled against Hanson’s claim that hearsay statements could not be allowed as evidence under the common law doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing.

Judge White retired in October. When the case finally goes to trial, another judge will preside.

  • Budcat1

    This guy has gotten the short end of the stick from the beginning.There is zero evidence against him.Hearsay from people who hate his guts is hardly believeable.They would say anything to get him convicted.I hope the lawsuit that will come after his release will make him a very wealthy man.

    • Moe

      Wow….are you misquided. Drew Peterson is the epitome of the crooked cop and I can’t believe you are this naive. Unfortunately the evidence is lacking and he may get OJ’ed out of it but anyone that has followed this case is smart enough to know he killed both his wives. He is a sick, sick man and apparently you are not far behind.

      • Curly

        I for one do not believe he killed either one of his wives.Kathleen savio’s boyfriend had the keys to her house and he used his set of keys to go in and retrieve the cat. You should go out and investigate why Kathy and steve M.were fighting. As far as I am concerned about Stacy she is alive somewhere.Whoever gave that credible lead that she was somewhere down in Central Illinois buried on a farm. Just lied.All they found were possum bones.Did anyone ever consider what these children would go thru.??? No they did not consider it. Because they are selfish vindictive people.!!!!

    • gm

      I believe that he is guilty of murdering both of his wives, BUT I also believe in our justice system. The Prosecuters and others made up laws retroactive to prove his guilt. Am I to be arrested because i had sex with a 15 year old – 40 years ago. The Drew law is BS. The Police will be blamed, The courts will be blamed The simple truth is sometimes people get away with murder, and you dont have to hide to do it

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  • Frank P

    The Law of hearsay is about to change forever, and come in to the realities of the 21st Century. Its still up to a Jury whether they believe he did it “beyond a reasonable doubt”. Its a vague standard, and up to each Jury what beyond a reasonable doubt means.

    If they cant convict him on this case, they will get him on Staceys case for sure.

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