Key Juror Troubled By Reliance on Hearsay in Drew Peterson Case


The final juror to agree to convict former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson of murder in the death of his ex-wife tells the Associated Press he “barely slept” one night during the proceedings because the same nagging questions kept popping into his head. Juror Ron Supalo, a letter carrier, remained troubled by the prosecution’s reliance on hearsay.

Peterson faces a maximum 60-year prison term for his first-degree murder conviction in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, 40, in 2004. It was the first case in Illinois history to permit the use of hearsay evidence, based on a 2008 state law specifically tailored to Peterson's case. Supalo said he believed the hearsay law might be unconstitutional, but he eventually realized his duty as a juror was only to assess the evidence, not the laws. The prosecution strategy grew largely from a lack of physical evidence after investigators initially deemed Savio's death an accident.

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