Drew Peterson went into court Thursday holding on to the hope that he might walk out of court a free man while prosecutors appealed the judge's decision about what hearsay evidence would be admitted at his murder trial.
But the former Bolingbrook police sergeant had to trade his suit and tie for his jail house clothes once again after Judge Stephen White rejected defense arguments that Peterson should be released without bail.
"The defendant loses one of the biggest constitutional rights he has, the right to a speedy trial and that's simply unfair," defense attorney Joseph Lopez told White, basing the argument on the fact that the trial delay was due to the prosecution's last-minute decision to appeal the hearsay ruling.
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow argued that Peterson was a danger to the community, and that prosecutors proved their case during the hearsay hearings.
"We put on evidence that Drew Peterson killed Kathleen Savio in an attempt to silence her and killed Stacy Peterson to silence her," he told the judge. "If that isn't a danger, I don't know what's more compelling."
White didn't give a detailed explanation for keeping Peterson locked up, only saying his reasons would be clear to the appellate court judges when they reviewed his findings.
After court Peterson's lawyer Joel Brodsky said while Peterson was always hopefully optomistic, he didn't count on getting out of jail.
"So he's okay. He wasn't devestated at all, he's just gonna go back to life he's been living for the last 14 months."
The appeal by prosecutors means a significant delay in the trial. White told attorneys it could be at least six to nine months, and with attorneys on both sides likely to challenge the decision by the appellate court, pushing the case perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court, the trial could be pushed back a year or maybe two.
It's not just Peterson who is impacted by the delays though, 240 potential jurors who were told nearly a year ago not to watch or read any news about the case are also on hold. In an extraordinary effort to provide Peterson a fair trial, the judge declined to release those jurors. One factor that must have weighed in his decision: when the hearsay case goes before the appellate court all the rulings about the testimony, which the judge has kept under seal could become public. That would make it even more difficult to pick a jury from scratch.
And if the delays didn't complicate the case for everyone else it also impacts Judge White personally. He will retire in October. So, unless the Illinois Supreme Court would take steps to appoint him as a special judge to handle the case, another judge will have to take over what is arguably the most high profile case Will County has ever seen.
Drew Peterson to Remain in Jail: Judge | Originally Reported By: MyFoxChicago.com