Skip to main content

Drew Peterson jury sent home for the night

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 9:16 PM EDT, Wed September 5, 2012
Drew Peterson is charged in the death of his third wife, and he's considered a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife.
Drew Peterson is charged in the death of his third wife, and he's considered a suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife.
  • Jury asked to rehear the testimony of two witnesses
  • Drew Peterson is on trial in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio
  • Defense says Savio fell and died accidentally
  • Expert says jury has a lot of circumstantial evidence to consider

(CNN) -- The jury in the Drew Peterson murder trial deliberated for more than eight hours Wednesday before a judge sent them home for the night.

Peterson, a former Chicago-area police sergeant, is accused of killing his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004.

The seven men and five women began deliberating Wednesday morning and asked during their discussions to hear again from the testimony of a defense witnesses, Harry Smith, who was Savio's divorce attorney, and a prosecution witness, Neil Schori, a pastor.

Schori had testified that Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, told him she woke up alone the night Savio died and Drew Peterson later coached her on how to talk to police about his whereabouts that night.

Smith had testified that Stacy Peterson asked him, "She wanted to know if, in my opinion, the fact that he'd killed Kathy could be used against him."

After 8 1/2 of deliberations, Judge Edward Burmila sent the jury home for the night.

When Stacey Peterson went missing in October 2007, investigators said they would look again at Savio's death, which was initially ruled a drowning. Stacey Peterson still has not been found and Drew is considered a suspect in the case.

Savio was found dead in her dry, clean bathtub March 1, 2004.

Savio's death was ruled a homicide in February 2008, and Peterson was later arrested and indicted on first-degree murder.

On Wednesday, the jury also asked for Drew Peterson's and Stacy Peterson's phone records for the weekend Savio died.

"There's a lot for the jury to go through. This is an entirely circumstantial case," Beth Karas, a legal correspondent at In Session, which airs on CNN sister network TruTV, said.

Peterson was married to Savio in 2001 when he had an affair with then-17-year-old Stacy Cales, who became his fourth wife. Savio and Peterson filed for divorce in October 2001 and their relationship remained contentious for the next several years.

Bolingbrook police records indicate officers were called to Savio's home 18 times to intervene in domestic fights from 2002 to 2004. Peterson had Savio arrested twice for domestic violence, though she was found not guilty in both cases.

On February 27, 2004, Peterson picked up his two sons from Savio's home and spent the next two days with them. Prosecutors believe he entered her home again early on February 29 and killed her.

At the time of her death, which authorities initially treated as an accident, a court was mulling how the couple's marital assets would be divided, and Savio was set to receive part of Peterson's pension and other support.

Follow the complete coverage of the trial

In Session's Michael Christian and Graham Winch contributed to this report.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.