Felony gun charges dropped against Peterson
JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- Felony gun charges were dropped Thursday against Drew Peterson. He remains a suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Stacey, in 2007.
In some last-minute courtroom drama, all charges relating to Drew Peterson's alleged gun violation have been dropped and his trial, scheduled to begin December 5, has been canceled. This happened because prosecuting attorneys were ordered by the judge to hand over all documents leading up to Peterson's arrest to the defense.
The prosecution denied the judge's orders. The judge held the prosecution in contempt and therefore dismissed the charges.
Peterson was facing felony gun charges for possessing a modified assault rifle that was seized during the investigation into the disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy.
Thursday's hearing was largely uneventful. Both the prosecution and defense were simply getting their ducks in a row. That's when the prosecution asked the defense to hand over all documents. When the prosecution refused, the judge held the prosecution in contempt and dismissed the charges, saying that Drew Peterson is "a free man."
"We were very pleased," said Joel Brodsky, Peterson's attorney. "The only real reason that the state would have not wanted to turn over the documents is because they would have helped us. If they would have been no help I'm assuming they would have gladly turned them over. We believe the judge assessed a proper sanction, which is dismissal, and the case, we're confident that if the state chooses to appeal, it will be upheld, and this case will be over with."
Shortly afterwards, Drew Peterson kissed his attorney on the cheek and said "I'm going to Disney World."
The prosecution does have the opportunity to appeal this ruling and if the appellate court upholds this ruling, Drew Peterson will be free from all charges.
local, dan ponce
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