After Drew Peterson was convicted in September of killing his third ex-wife Kathleen Savio, his legal team argued for a new trial, claiming that Peterson’s previous attorney had botched the case. Today, a judge in Joliet, Ill., denied the new trial. Now, Peterson’s case will move to the sentencing phase. The 59-year-old former police sergeant faces 60 years in prison for Savio’s death. He is also suspected in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, but has not been charged in that case.
In requesting the new trial, Peterson’s lawyers argued that his former attorney, Joel Brodsky, made some mistakes that cost Peterson his innocence. Among the accusations against Brodsky was that he brought too much media attention to Peterson before the trial, and that the testimony of a divorce lawyer he brought in as a witness ended up hurting the defense case.
According to the prosecution, Peterson killed Savio over fears that she would go after his money following their bitter and contentious divorce. Savio, who had told her sister that Peterson would kill her and make it look like an accident, was found drowned in a bathtub with a one inch gash on the back of her head.