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Sunday, February 20, 2011

[IL] Wife-murder suspect Ex Police Sgt. Drew Peterson's cop son fired & voices from the grave ruling appealed

The Oak Brook Police and Fire Commission voted unanimously Saturday to fire Officer Stephen Peterson from the Oak Brook Police Department, effective immediately... The statement of findings said commissioners took into account the level of judgment expected of police officers... [His father Drew Peterson's 4th wife] Stacy Peterson disappeared Oct. 27, 2007. Drew Peterson brought three weapons, including an AR-15 short barrel rifle, to Stephen Peterson’s home... Drew Peterson also transferred $236,800 to Stephen... [Drew Peterson is also] accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004... More than 70 witnesses testified early last year at the Drew Peterson hearsay hearing, which resembled a minitrial. The testimony centered on 15 statements Peterson's wives made to others, sometimes expressing fear for their lives...

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OAK BROOK VOTES TO FIRE DREW PETERSON'S SON

By Jack McCarthy
Special to the Tribune
12:55 p.m. CST, February 19, 2011
[Excerpts] Oak Brook police and fire commissioners dismissed police officer Stephen Peterson today for obstructing an investigation into the disappearance of the wife of his father, Drew Peterson... In a three-page finding, the board ruled that Peterson delivered contradictory testimony, failed to disclose information and demonstrated poor judgement during an Illinois State Police investigation into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, the fourth wife of his father, Drew Peterson... Stephen Peterson took possession of three weapons from his father to prevent discovery and seizure... Stephen Peterson failed to notify police that he had the weapons or tell investigators that Drew Peterson had transferred $236,800 to his son shortly after Stacy Peterson vanished. "Officer Peterson's continuing claim that the weapons and money were irrelevant to the investigation by the Illinois State Police were self-serving, disingenuous, not credible and demonstrates that Officer Peterson lacks the fundamental ability to make sound judgments," Cappetta said. In a December hearing, Stephen Peterson told the board he was simply helping his father and that his actions had nothing to do with his duties as an Oak Brook police officer. Drew Peterson remains in jail as a suspect in the drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He is also the sole suspect in the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, although he has not been charged... The board also rejected the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council's motions to dismiss charges and continue the hearing... [Full article here]

OAK BROOK DISMISSES STEVE PETERSON FROM POLICE FORCE
Chicago Daily Herald
By Marie Wilson
2/19/2011 05:17 PM
[Excerpts] Drew Peterson’s son, Stephen Peterson, was discharged from his position as an Oak Brook police officer Saturday after the village’s Board of Fire and Police Commissioners ruled he withheld information relevant to the investigation of his stepmother’s disappearance. The board announced it found the former officer guilty of “failing to disclose facts to law enforcement officials” investigating Stacy Peterson’s 2007 disappearance and suspected murder. Stephen Peterson admitted temporarily storing guns for his father shortly after his stepmother went missing. The three guns included an assault rifle with a prohibited shortened barrel, which Stephen Peterson said he looked at only briefly in its case before sticking it in a closet in his North Aurora home. He testified he did not consider the guns or his receipt of $236,000 in checks from his father “relevant” information he needed to tell his superiors... The board cleared Stephen Peterson of the two other charges against him: possession of an unlawful weapon and failing to keep an internal investigation confidential. Peterson had been on paid leave from his $67,422-a-year job since August after Oak Brook Police Chief Thomas Sheahan filed the charges. Peterson hugged some of his former colleagues after hearing the decision then left without comment. His police union attorney, Tamara Cummings, said Peterson intends to appeal the decision... The statement of findings said commissioners took into account the level of judgment expected of police officers. The amount of time they took to make the decision shows was a difficult one, commissioners said. The board held its first hearing on whether to fire Peterson Nov. 30 and met again Jan. 10... [Full article here]

DREW PETERSON'S SON FIRED FROM OAK BROOK FORCE
Chicago Sun-Times
Steve Schering
Feb 20, 2011
[Excerpts] The Oak Brook Police and Fire Commission voted unanimously Saturday to fire Officer Stephen Peterson from the Oak Brook Police Department, effective immediately... “I think it was drastic,” [his attorney Tamara] Cummings said. “We are disappointed but not surprised. This board is a kangaroo court to say the least”... Charge one, which Peterson was found guilty of, charged that Peterson failed to disclose facts to law enforcement officials in connection with the disappearance of Stacy Peterson... Stacy Peterson disappeared Oct. 27, 2007. Drew Peterson brought three weapons, including an AR-15 short barrel rifle, to Stephen Peterson’s home on Oct. 30, 2007. Drew Peterson also transferred $236,800 to Stephen in the days following Stacy Peterson’s disappearance... Charges two and three, which Peterson was not found guilty of, related to his taking possession of the AR-15 rifle and allegations that Peterson failed to keep an internal investigation confidential.... [Full article here]

WILL DREW PETERSON'S WIVES SPEAK FROM THE GRAVE?
By Beth Karas, "In Session" Correspondent
February 15, 2011 10:48 a.m. EST
[Excerpts] Drew Peterson's lawyers go to court on Wednesday for a hearing that could have a profound effect on the murder case against him. At issue: whether the jury can consider statements two of his wives made about him to others. One of them, his ex, is dead and the other is missing and presumed dead. Peterson, a former police sergeant from Bolingbrook, Illinois, is accused of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004 and remains under investigation in the October 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. Prosecutors are asking the appeals court for Illinois' 3rd Judicial District to review a lower court's ruling last summer limiting the hearsay evidence the jury can hear at Peterson's trial... Since Savio is dead and Stacy Peterson is missing, the defense argues that using their statements to family and friends violates Peterson's Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him... More than 70 witnesses testified early last year at the Peterson hearsay hearing, which resembled a minitrial. The testimony centered on 15 statements Peterson's wives made to others, sometimes expressing fear for their lives. According to testimony by Savio's sister, Susan Doman, Peterson told Savio that he could kill her and make it look like an accident. Another sister, Anna Doman, claimed Peterson told Savio that she would not make it to the divorce settlement. Stacy Peterson's pastor, Neil Schori ... said Stacy, who was living with Drew Peterson when Savio died, told him she saw Peterson return home in early the morning Savio died. He was dressed in black and carried a bag of women's clothes that were not hers. In determining whether any of those statements can be used at trial, Judge Stephen White found after the 2010 hearing it was likely that Peterson murdered Savio and Stacy Peterson. The judge then found fewer than half the 15 statements prosecutors wanted to use were admissible under the new law... Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow argues in his appeal that the judge should have also considered whether the statements were admissible under a common law doctrine known as "forfeiture by wrongdoing." The doctrine is part of the federal rules of evidence. Forfeiture by wrongdoing does not require a finding of reliability. Basically, it means that a defendant cannot kill a witness and keep damaging evidence out a trial by arguing that he's lost the right to cross-examine that witness. Trials in Illinois and elsewhere have used "voices from the grave" to obtain murder convictions... The Illinois Supreme Court expressly recognized that the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing serves as an exception to the hearsay rule and precludes an argument about right of confrontation guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment. "Drew's Law" did not apply in Hanson because the trial occurred before the law existed. In a 2008 Wisconsin case, Mark Jensen was convicted of murdering his wife. The trial judge permitted the jury to read a letter the wife wrote days before her death... Peterson's attorneys argue that the new law supersedes the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing. The new law requires that the judge determine if a statement is reliable. White found that several were not reliable. To fall back now on the less strict doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing is to disregard the legislature's intent, Peterson's attorneys say. They also maintain that none of the statements should be used against Peterson because "Drew's Law" is unconstitional... [Full article here]

PETERSON TEAM: PROSECUTORS FLIP ON LAW?
Chicago Sun-Times
Feb 17, 2011
Drew Peterson was charged in 2009 with murdering Kathleen Savio during their divorce. Savio was found drowned in her bathtub in 2004. Will County prosecutors waited too long to appeal a judge’s ruling that barred most of the hearsay evidence allegedly linking Drew Peterson to the death of his third wife, his defense team argued Wednesday before an Illinois Appellate Court. Prosecutors also are trying to ignore a new law they helped write in a desperate effort to bring in indirect evidence that purportedly ties the former Bolingbrook cop to the 2004 drowning death of Kathleen Savio, defense attorneys charged as they asked the court to uphold a ruling barring such evidence. “The state is seeking to admit evidence in this case that makes it easier for them to prove the murder,” defense attorney Steven Greenberg argued before the three-judge panel... Will County Judge Stephen White erred last year in ruling that most of the hearsay evidence wasn’t reliable enough to be allowed as evidence against Peterson, prosecutors contended during the hearing. His ruling also restricted the use of indirect statements from others, including Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy, who vanished from the couple’s Bolingbrook home in October 2007. “He did not consider the appropriate factors he should have in making his decision,” Assistant State’s Attorney Colleen Griffin said of White, who has since retired... Outside the courtroom, Greenberg said he thinks the appellate court may look hard at the timing issue as a crucial element of their decision. “I think they’re troubled by the timing of the appeal and how long it took for the state to file the appeal,” he said... Relatives of Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson both attended the 50-minute hearing, with Savio’s sister saying afterward she was optimistic the hearsay evidence ultimately would be used against Drew Peterson. “It’s two families that are hurting very much and we’re hoping that this is a good start for us,” Susan Doman said. “The judges have a lot of questions they have to understand before they go ahead and make a decision, but I’m very positive about it.” [Full article here]

[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities lethal murder illinois state politics unsolved unresovled repeat hx]

1 comment:

  1. An accessory is a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal. The distinction between an accessory and a principal is a question of fact and degree ----
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accessory_(legal_term)

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