Verdict: Drew Peterson Found Guilty of Murdering Kathleen Savio
The jury has given its verdict after weeks of controversial hearsay testimony, stops and starts and antics from both sides.
Drew Peterson has been found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Updated 3:34 p.m.
Cassandra Cales, sister of Stacy Peterson, had this to say in reaction to the verdict: "Game over, Drew. I feel numb. It hasn't really hit me yet."
Cassandra wants to tell Stacy: "I love you, I miss you, and I've never given up hope I'll find you."
Updated 3:29 p.m.
Pam Bosco, foster mother of Stacy Peterson's sister Cassandra Cales had the following to say in reaction the guilty:
This is personal. This is personal to so many people. I never lost the faith. I believe in the system. I don't think he ever faced reality and that's why he did it twice. Today he's facing reality. He'll never see life outside prison walls.
This man has to pay for Stacy. There's no reason this man can't be taken back into this courtroom and go through this hell again. Stacy's case is right around the corner. I believe that. I always believed that "he would pay the price for killing two beautiful women.
I think he was stunned, first of all. He thought he would get away with it. I think he understands how much he's a hated man.
Updated 3:06 p.m.
The jury sent out a note saying they reached a verdict at 2:15 p.m. The jury was brought back into the courtroom and the foreman read the guilty verdict a half hour later.
Eight uniformed deputies were spread through the courtroom along with Sheriff Paul Kaupas and other security for the reading of the verdict.
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Updated 2:54 p.m.
The jury returned with its verdict around 2:50 p.m. Thursday after a day-and-a-half of deliberations.
Peterson had no expression when the verdict was read. The Savio family was crying and hugging in the courtroom.
"Oh my god it's about friggin' time," sobbed Savio brother-in-law Mitch Doman as he hugged his wife, Savio's sister Susan Doman.
"Now she can rest in peace," Mitch Doman said. "They got the murdering
"I just feel that she's with us right now," Susan Doman said. "I loved my sister very much. She's finally getting the justice she deserved. He's a sick man. He's an evil man."
What does "unanimous" mean?
At 12:35 p.m., the jury asked Judge Edward Burmila to tell them what the word "unanimous" means.
Burmiila said he received the jury's question at 12:35 p.m. "Just to be clear, judge, what does 'unanimous' mean?" Burmila said the jury asked.
Burmila said he was sending back a note telling the jury that 'unanimous' means the agreement of all in regard to the matter at hand, and that when a verdict is reached, each juror must sign his or her name to it.
Testimony asked for during Wednesday's deliberations
The jury started its day shortly after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Within two hours, they sent a note to Judge Burmila asking to see and hear some of the evidence from the trial.
Jurors asked to see Peterson's phone records from Feb. 28 to March 1, 2002 and the phone records of his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, for the same time period.
They also wanted transcripts of the testimony from the Rev. Neil Schori and Wheaton attorney Harry Smith, and a November 2002 letter written by Peterson's slain third wife, Kathleen Savio, to former Assistant State's Attorney Elizabeth Fragale.
On top of that, the jury wanted the Bolingbrook police report detailing a July 2002 attack Peterson allegedly perpetrated against Savio, and later requested—and was provided—photographs of Savio curled naked and dead in her bathtub.
An Illinois State Police crime scene technician took the bathtub death scene pictures soon after Savio's body was discovered by neighbors in March 2004.
The jury also asked for photographs taken during the autopsies performed on Savio and pictures showing the bruises on her dead body.
Defense attorney Joel Brodsky objected to turning over some of the autopsy photos, which the jury has already seen. Brodsky claimed those particular photographs were "too gruesome" for jurors to look at again.