A key piece of testimony in prosecutors’ case against Drew Peterson – statements his now-missing fourth wife made to a pastor about what she saw Peterson doing around the time his third wife drowned in a bathtub – might be allowed at trial, a judge ruled today.
Peterson, a Former Bolingbrook police sergeant, is scheduled to go on trial next month on charges of murdering his ex-wife Kathleen Savio, who was found dead in 2004 as the couple fought over financial issues.
Will County Judge Edward Burmila ruled this morning that the Rev. Neil Schori will be allowed to testify for the prosecution that Peterson's now-missing fourth wife, Stacy, told the pastor she saw Peterson return home late, dressed in black and carrying a bag of women's clothing not long before Savio was found dead.
But he said prosecutors will have to lay a proper foundation before he would allow the testimony to be heard by jurors.
Burmila also said that he will compel divorce attorney Harry Smith to testify about incriminating statements that Savio made to him about criminal cases she and Drew Peterson were involved in.
Burmila earlier this month ruled that Smith’s attorney-client privilege regarding Savio had been waived but said he was concerned Smith hadn't shared information that could be helpful to Peterson. Smith testified that he believed some information was still privileged and Burmila later questioned him privately in his chambers.
It’s unclear whether prosecutors will still call Smith. Burmila said in court he would not summarize what Smith told him.
Burmila made the rulings in a short hearing today.