Circumstantial Case Likely Against Ex-Cop Peterson


The evidence used by Illinois prosecutor James Glasgow against ex-police officer Drew Peterson likely will be circumstantial, says the Chicago Tribune. There are no known witnesses to the death of his former wife, Kathleen Savio. Prosecutors are expected to rely on a new Illinois statute to allow the woman to “testify from beyond the grave.” Peterson’s defense team has vowed to challenge the law — which would allow a judge to admit some hearsay evidence into court — as unconstitutional. “They’ve got problems,” said Peterson attorney Andrew Abood. “You don’t do 18 months of a grand jury investigation with a strong case. They’re going to have problems with cause of death, as well as who done it.”

When prosecutors present a case without eyewitness testimony or a damning statement from the defendant, they often find themselves facing a skeptical jury. “Juries tend to want a more tightly constructed case if it’s entirely circumstantial,” said attorney Mark Rotert, a former prosecutor now in private practice. Savio, 40, was found drowned in an empty bathtub of her home in 2004. She and Peterson were in the midst of a contentious divorce when she died. Their fights — some physical — are outlined in police reports and letters that Savio wrote to a former assistant state’s attorney and to an ex-TV news anchor.

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