May 23, 2009 in Nation/World

Prosecutors say ex-cop tried to put hit on wife

Don Babwin Associated Press

JOLIET, Ill. – Former police officer Drew Peterson offered someone $25,000 to kill his third wife because he thought a pending divorce settlement would financially ruin him, but then killed her himself months later, prosecutors said Friday.

Prosecutor James Glasgow made the allegation at a bail reduction hearing for Peterson’s $20 million bond.

Judge Carla Alessio-Policandriotes refused to reduce the bond for the suburban Chicago man, who is charged with first-degree murder in Kathleen Savio’s 2004 death.

Peterson, 55, also is a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. He has maintained his innocence in Savio’s death and Stacy Peterson’s disappearance.

Glasgow said Peterson told a fellow police officer in late 2003 that he would be financially ruined by a pending divorce, and his life would be easier “if she was just dead.” Glasgow did not reveal the source of his allegation.

Savio’s body was found with a gash on the back of her head in her bathtub three weeks later, the Will County prosecutor said. Peterson is a flight risk, he said, because he knows how to disappear and knows he faces 20 to 60 years in jail if he’s convicted.

Peterson attorneys said they planned to appeal the judge’s refusal to lower his bond to under $1 million.

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