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Drew Peterson sentenced to an additional 40 years in prison for attempting to kill prosecutor

July 30, 2016  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Drew Peterson sentenced to an additional 40 years in prison for attempting to kill prosecutor

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As Drew Peterson concluded his 25-minute speech in court on Friday, he shifted in his chair and addressed the prosecutor he tried to have murdered.

In a matter-of-fact tone, Peterson commented, “And Jim Glasgow, there was never any intent to have you killed,” as prosecutors objected.

The former Bolingbrook police sergeant leaned back in his chair and said, “That’s all right. I’m done.”

Just a few minutes later, Randolph County Judge Richard Brown issued a sentence for Peterson to serve 40 years behind bars in addition to the 38 years he received for murdering his wife, ABC News reported.

Peterson’s demeanor was substantially different from the last time he publicly spoke at his 2013 sentencing hearing for the murder of his third wife when he maintained his innocence and bitterly blamed Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow and Illinois State Police investigators for his legal troubles.

On Friday, however, he addressed the court in a matter-of-fact expression, sometimes hesitating to compose himself, as he explained that this conviction was all due to a big mistake.

He stated, “My name is Drew Peterson — I’ve lived my life in service to others … I strapped a gun on my hip every day for 32 years and went out and put my life on the line.”

Aside from declaring his innocence in the murder of his third wife and the disappearance of his fourth, he said that the threat against Glasgow was never serious. Peterson asserted that he was trying to help a fellow inmate, Antonio “Beast” Smith, to get time taken off of his sentence by giving him a story to sell to authorities.

Peterson also explained that he was suicidal at the time and didn’t think he would live long enough to see the plan through, and when Smith wore a wire, Peterson claims that he knew he was being taped the entire time.

Authorities collected hours of secret recordings, which were played for jurors throughout the duration of the seven-day trial back in May.

Peterson stated, “Mr. Glasgow, who is already obsessed with me, sent people down to conduct the investigation, and that’s how this happened.”

Peterson is currently serving his 38-year sentence at Menard Correctional Center, just a short distance away from the Randolph County Courthouse where a jury convicted him of trying to plan the hit on Glasgow.

He was due to be eligible for parole in 2047 when he is 93-year-old for the murder conviction. However, the prison sentence issued on Friday must be served following the murder sentence, which guarantees that Peterson will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Peterson said that as the trial approached on charges of solicitation of murder for hire and solicitation of murder, he informed Attorney Lucas Liefer to notify prosecutors that the plot to kill Glasgow was just an effort to help Smith get out of prison, which he referred to as “the third-worst prison in the country.”

He said of Menard, “I’m sure there are worse places, but for a guy who lived high and worked hard, it’s a living hell.”

But Lucas Liefer, who Peterson alleged had found 16 witnesses who could testify that the plot was never a real threat, never spoke to those inmates as witnesses, and never guided him on how to testify on his own behalf.

Peterson explained, “You’re supposed to listen to your attorney. That’s why I didn’t testify.”

Liefer informed the judge that there was a “breakdown in the attorney-client relationship” and that they had not been interacting as much as they should have.

Peterson’s declaration came after Glasgow told Judge Brown that it felt odd to give a statement in court as a victim instead of a prosecutor.

Glasgow stated, “That this was all a ruse to get Antonio Smith some time off is beyond ludicrous.”

He added that a long sentence is crucial because if convicts believe they can easily murder a prosecutor and receive time off their sentence, it would be “the end of days.”

“It’s critical that a message be sent that this will never be (allowed) in Illinois,” Glasgow continued.

Peterson, who was facing between 20 and 60 years behind bars, exhibited no reaction as the judge issued his sentence. As he exited the courtroom, Peterson said something inaudible to his missing fourth wife’s sister, Cassandra Cales. To which she responded saying, “You killed Stacy.”

Peterson formed his plot to murder Glasgow not long after he began serving his sentence for the 2004 slaying of Kathleen Savio.

At trial, Smith affirmed that he developed a friendship with Peterson back in 2013 while they were both serving time at Menard and that Peterson asked if Smith could assist in finding a hit man to kill Glasgow.

Smith led Peterson to trust that he was willing to go along with the scheme, Smith instead reached out to authorities and agreed to tape his interactions with Peterson.

Over the duration of several weeks, Peterson complained that Glasgow was blocking his attempts to get his sentence overthrown on appeal and that he feared the prosecutor would charge him in connection with the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who went missing in October 2007 and has never been found.

After Stacy had vanished, Glasgow reopened an investigation into the death of his third wife, who was found dead in her bathtub around the time that she and Peterson were concluding their divorce. Savio’s death, which had initially been declared an accident, was reclassified as murder, and Peterson was found guilty of her homicide back in 2012.

In one of the tapes, Smith informed Peterson that he had ordered his uncle to murder Glasgow by Christmas of 2014.

In a November 2014 recording, Smith stated: “I told him what you said, that it’s the green light on, that basically go ahead and kill him. That’s what you wanted, right? … It ain’t no turning back.”

The suspect answered: “OK, all right. I’m in. From the first time we talked about it, there was no turning back. … If I get some booze in here, we’ll celebrate that night.”

He told the judge, “You can sentence me to whatever you want, I guess… This sentence, I won’t outlive it.”

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