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After Long Appeal, Peterson Leaves Jail To Attend Pre-Trial Hearing

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Drew Peterson leaves the Will County Courthouse on Friday after a brief pre-trial hearing. (CBS)

Drew Peterson leaves the Will County Courthouse on Friday after a brief pre-trial hearing. (CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in about two years, Drew Peterson left jail for a court hearing on his long delayed murder trial.

With several members of the media waiting, Peterson was driven into the back of the Will County courthouse and appeared at a status hearing on Friday. Peterson appeared in court in shackles and appeared in good spirits, smiling and smirking at times.

At the hearing, Peterson’s case was assigned to Will County Associate Judge Edward Burmila.

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“I talked to Drew yesterday, he’s glad the process is starting again,” his attorney, Joel Brodsky, said. “The waiting and sitting on his hands is over with.”

Brodsky said he expects to start the trial in the next 60 to 90 days.

Burmila is a former state’s attorney unseated 20 years ago by Peterson’s prosecutor, current State’s Attorney Jim Glasgow, the Sun-Times Media Wire is reporting.

Glasgow said he is ready to proceed after a successful appeals process surrounding hearsay evidence in the case.

“We are anxious to get this case into a courtroom,” he said.

Peterson’s defense team continued to insist that the evidence against their client is flimsy.

“They have no evidence,” said attorney Steve Greenberg. “All they say is, “Hey they’re getting a divorce, she’s dead, he must have done it.”

Peterson, a former Bolingbrook police officer, has been in jail for three years, since he was charged with killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He also is a person of interest in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.

On Thursday, Brodsky, said it would be short drive from jail for Peterson. His case had been stuck in an appeals court fight for nearly two years until now.

“He gets to get driven a block-and-a-half from the jail,” he said. “He gets to enjoy his block-and-a-half trip in the back of the van.”

Peterson has been held in protective custody while in jail, meaning he has no contact with other prisoners. He can only visit with immediate family members and his attorneys.

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