The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

February 21, 2013

Peterson screams, then gets 38 years for murder

(Continued)

JOLIET, Ill. —

Savio's death was initially ruled an accident, after neighbors found the 40-year-old aspiring nurse's body in a dry bathtub at home. It was Stacy Peterson's 2007 disappearance that prompted authorities to take another look at Savio's death and eventually reclassify it as a homicide. Drew Peterson is also a suspect in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson — who was 23-years-old when she vanished — but he hasn't been charged in her case.

Fascination nationwide with Drew Peterson arose from speculation he sought to use his law enforcement expertise to get away with murder. Jurors convicted him of Savio's murder in September.

At times Thursday, Peterson seemed to wallow in self-pity, telling the judge, "I don't deserve this," and that "America should be outraged (by the injustice of his conviction), but nobody cares." Other times, he seethed, blaming prosecutors for what he called "the largest railroad job ever."

He told Glasgow that the prosecutor could now celebrate because he had destroyed Peterson's life. Minutes later, Peterson challenged Glasgow to look him in the eyes. Glasgow, who had been taking notes, laid down his pen, folded his arms and looked straight back at Peterson.

"Never forget what you've done here," Peterson said.

Glasgow later told reporters about that moment, "I was thinking, 'You're a cold-blooded murderer and I'll stare you down until I die.'"

Peterson had divorced Savio a year before her death. His motive for killing her, prosecutors said, was fear that a pending settlement would wipe him out financially.

Before Thursday, Peterson had never publicly showed concern about the serious charges and the possible sentence he faced. The glib, cocky former police officer seemed to taunt authorities before his 2009 arrest, suggesting a "Win a Date With Drew Contest" and then, after his arrest, "Win a Conjugal Visit With Drew Contest." More recently, his story inspired a TV movie starring Rob Lowe.

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