UPDATED: 6/6/2011 12:20 p.m.
OTTAWA, Ill. (CBS) — Attorneys for Drew Peterson filed a motion Monday, seeking the former Bolingbrook police sergeant’s release pending trial for murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports, the motion was filed with Third District Appellate Court in Ottawa, Ill. It was written last week, but is only now being filed.
The motion argues that Peterson has been denied a speedy trial, that the case against him is flimsy, that he poses a threat to no one, and that he could be placed easily under house arrest wearing an electronic monitor.
Peterson has been jailed since May 2009, and defense attorney Joel Brodsky said his client has spent most of that time in solitary confinement. Brodsky said it is taking a toll.
“It’s hard,” he said. “And it’s the very reason, I think, that the Founding Fathers put into the Constitution that you have a right to a speedy trial.”
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports
He said it would be different if Peterson had been found guilty, but said there have been no trials.
Brodsky said Peterson does at least 500 push-ups a day to stay fit, watches television and reads “a lot” of magazines.
The motion notes that while Peterson was still free to travel, but knew he was under suspicion in the Savio case, he traveled to California, Florida and New York but never attempted to leave the United States and always returned home to Bolingbrook, where he has lived in 1977.
Peterson is a lifelong Chicago-area resident, except for his years in the military. The motion also notes that Peterson’s entire extended family lives in northeastern Illinois.
“He has no place to go,” Brodsky said.
Brodsky called Peterson’s continued incarceration pending trial “outrageous.”
The state has a week to reply, in writing.
Brodsky is hoping for a ruling within two weeks.
Savio was found dead in the drained bathtub of her Bolingbrook home on March 1, 2004. Initially, the death was ruled an accidental drowning, but a second autopsy, performed in November 2007, found that the death was a homicide.
Peterson has never been charged in connection with the October 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy. Members of Stacy Peterson’s family have suspected the retired police officer from the beginning.
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.
Judge White retired in October. When the case finally goes to trial, another judge will preside.