Patrick Collins

Retired Illinois State Police Sgt. Patrick Collins leaves the Will County Courthouse after testifying in the murder trial of Drew Peterson. (Terrence Antonio James, Chicago Tribune / August 8, 2012)

11 a.m. Drew coached Stacy through interview

Retired Illinois State Police Sgt. Patrick Collins said that when he and Trooper Brian Falat arrived at Drew Peterson's home to interview Stacy Peterson about Kathleen Savio’s death, the defendant asked to be allowed to sit in with them.

"On our way to the basement, Drew asked me personally, he said Stacy was real shaken, still real nervous about the event that had occurred and asked me if he could sit in on the interview — some professional courtesy," Collins said. He added that he had never before allowed a suspect to sit in on the interview of a witness.

During the interview, Drew Peterson sat "very close" to Stacy Peterson, and at one point coached her through her answer about what she did the Saturday before Savio was discovered, Collins testified.

"There was one particular question where he did have to refresh her memory," Collins recalled. "He leaned over to Stacy and said, 'You remember what you cooked for breakfast.' He said, 'bacon' or 'sausage' and that was it."

10:30 a.m. Officer recounts interview with Peterson

Retired Illinois State Police Sgt. Patrick Collins testified that when he interviewed Drew Peterson about Kathleen Savio's death and asked if he would realize any financial benefit from her death, Peterson said they shared ownership of Savio's home, valued at $300,000.

"At that time he stated, 'Oh, I guess now I'll get the whole value of the house,’" Collins said.

Collins also said that when asked about his relationship with Savio at the time of her death, Peterson said it "was going pretty good."


10:05 a.m. Cop, coroner, Savio friends to testify

Retired Illinois State Police Sgt. Patrick Collins is the first witness on the stand today. Other witnesses scheduled to testify for the prosecution today include Will County Coroner Patrick O’Neil, Kathleen Savio’s friend Kristin Anderson and Savio’s Joliet Junior College classmate Mary Parks.

Parks testified at a pretrial hearing that Savio told her that Drew Peterson "could kill her and no one would know" and that Peterson entered Savio's home, pinned her down by her throat and asked, "Why don't you just die?"

Anderson has also previously testified that Savio told her she feared Peterson would kill her.

Collins worked the scene of Savio's death with former state police investigator Robert Deel in 2004.

Collins testified during a 2010 hearing that Deel told him Savio’s death was an accident.

"I relied on that particular night and case very heavily on investigator Deel because that was my first homicide," Collins testified in 2010. "I did ask him should we collect anything. He basically informed me that it appeared to be accidental."