Retired Illinois police Sgt. Drew Peterson has been sentenced to 38 years in prison for the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
The Chicago Tribune reports Judge Edward Burmila could have imposed up to a 60-year prison term, but he took into consideration Peterson’s military service and his past as a police officer. He will also receive credit for the four years he has been in custody.
Before the sentencing, Burmila denied Peterson’s request for a new trial. He was convicted of murder in September 2012 for Savio’s 2004 death, which was initially ruled accidental. Savio’s body was exhumed following the disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson in 2007. Stacy has not been found, and no charges have been filed in that case.
Before the judge handed down Peterson’s sentence, drama broke out in the courtroom. Though he did not testify in the trial, the former police sergeant was allowed to deliver an appeal to the judge. He began by introducing himself, then screamed, “I did not kill Kathleen!”
A woman retorted, “Yes, you did,” and the judge ordered her to leave the courtroom. He then admonished Peterson not to “make any outbursts that are designed to aggravate people.”
In 2012, Rob Lowe portrayed Peterson in Lifetime’s “Drew Peterson: Untouchable.” Kaley Cuoco played Stacy.