Peterson's second wife testifies: Drew threatened to kill me
February 9, 2010 (JOLIET, Ill.) (WLS) -- Drew Peterson's second wife testified Tuesday at his pretrial hearing. Victoria Connolly told the court that Peterson had threatened her several times in the past.
Peterson has pleaded not guilty to charges in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Peterson has been married four times. The former Bolingbrook cop is a suspect in his fourth wife's disappearance and is charged with killing his third wife. According to Peterson's second wife, Connolly, Drew had threatened to kill her.
Connolly took the stand Tuesday in Peterson's pre-trial hearsay hearing. Connolly testified that during their rocky nine-and-a-half year marriage, Peterson pulled a gun on her at least three times. During an argument, Connolly said, "He put me up against the wall in the garage and grabbed me by the throat."
In another violent incident, Connolly testified, "He told me he would kill me and make it look like an accident." Previous witnesses have testified that is exactly what Peterson told his fourth wife Stacy and third wife Kathleen Savio.
Six years ago, Savio was found dead in a dry bathtub. Deputy coroner Michael VanOver was called to the scene and pronounced Savio dead. Based on information he received from state police, VanOver said he did not follow the suspicious death protocol. At the time, Savio's death was ruled an accident, a conclusion VanOver says he did not feel comfortable with-- yet he never voiced his concerns.
"He doesn't make a phone, doesn't make a report, doesn't make a note to the memo, doesn't put it in his police reports -- nothing about any suspicions, and then all of a sudden six years later, when everyone seems to be piling on Drew, he adds his suspicions," said Joel Brodsky, Drew Peterson's attorney.
Brodsky also disputes the testimony of William Green. Green told the court that in 2003 he was approached by a friend of Drew Peterson's who offered Green $25,000 from Peterson to kill Savio. Green says he did not take the offer seriously.
Prosecutors are trying to show that Peterson killed Savio so she would not get some of his money, including a portion of his pension. While Peterson and Savio were divorced, they had not worked out a financial agreement yet.
"Even in the worst case scenario, he would have been a millionaire after the divorce, and Mr. Glasgow said in the bond hearing, Drew would have been destitute. Well, I don't consider being a millionaire to be destitute," Brodsky said.
After 15 days of testimony and 68 witnesses, prosecutors have exhausted their witness list and are wrapping up their case.
The defense team will begin its case Wednesday. Joel Brodsky says there are 20 witnesses on their list; however, not all will be called.
local, sarah schulte
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