CHESTER, Ill. — Drew Peterson believed James Glasgow would “never leave me alone.”
And if the former Bolingbrook cop succeeded in overturning his 2012 murder conviction for the death of his third wife, Peterson suspected the Will County state’s attorney would “charge me with Stacy” — a reference to the unsolved 2007 disappearance of Peterson’s fourth wife.
“Stacy’s still alive,” Peterson said in a secretly recorded jailhouse conversation. “Running around out there.”
The comments were recorded by jailhouse snitch Antonio Smith, a 25-year-old inmate known as “Beast” who wore a wire on Peterson in an attempt to prove Peterson plotted to have Glasgow murdered in downtown Joliet. Peterson allegedly believed his appeal would be successful if Glasgow wasn’t alive to interfere.
Peterson is serving a 38-year prison sentence in Randolph County’s Menard Correctional Center. A jury found him guilty in 2012 for the murder of Kathleen Savio.
Downstate prosecutors put Peterson on trial this week with the help of the Illinois Attorney General’s office. Jurors spent much of the trial’s second day listening to the jailhouse recordings, which are full of inaudible moments and noisy prison ambiance. The jury was given transcripts to help them follow along.
During a Nov. 13, 2014, recording, Smith questioned Peterson about his hope to get out of prison, “with Glasgow gone, right?
Peterson said, “Yes, it’ll get me out.” Smith asked if “it’s a go, a 100 percent?” And Peterson replied, “it’s better.”
“Because what he’s doing is, he’s f—ing beating me under the table,” Peterson said. “He’s calling these judges or going golfing with them or some f—ing thing. So with that happening, how, how can you fight that?”
The next day, Peterson said “he’s the one that got my kid fired. He’s the one that’s uh, uh, had ’em screw with my other kids and, you know, the colleges and stuff.” He said Glasgow is an “a—hole.”
Smith and Peterson allegedly had discussed having Smith’s uncle help with the murder-for-hire plot against Glasgow. But in that later conversation, Peterson told Smith, “before you give the green light on your uncle … talk to me.”
Peterson also mused that day about getting out of prison — and starting to deal drugs. He talked about landing a plane on a property “on the other side of Mexico.” Smith asked if Peterson knew how to do it.
“Oh yeah, I got a pilot’s license,” Peterson said.
Smith replied: “But you won’t crash?”
Peterson laughed and said “no.” Then he said “there’s that guy that’s got that cartel connections. They can get us into dope.”
Peterson also told Smith he’s in prison because of his “idiot f—ing lawyer, not ’cause Glasgow’s good.” Smith asked who Peterson meant, and Peterson said, “Brodsky.”
Peterson has long contended that Joel Brodsky, the leader of his defense team during the 2012 trial, botched the case by calling a divorce attorney to the stand who then gave bombshell testimony about comments from Stacy Peterson.
FBI agents have testified Smith’s recording device was pre-programmed to record at meal-time on weekdays and yard-time on weekends — when Smith and Peterson were most likely to interact.
In addition to the recordings, Smith read copies of his jailhouse “kites” — or letters — between him and Peterson. In one, he said he asked if Peterson “still needed Glasgow dead, so I’m just waiting for your green light on this project.”
Peterson allegedly wrote back, “My appeal is blowing the state’s case out of the water, but it’s almost impossible to fight the corrupt, under-the-table politics that’s going on. So nothing has changed. I’m praying for a bright future for our family. So let’s put a green light on all of our projects.”
The recorded comments from Peterson about his fourth wife contradict Smith’s testimony Monday that Peterson “admitted to me that he killed Stacy Peterson.” Smith even complained about it from the witness stand Tuesday, accusing Peterson of “changing his story to me.”
“It’s like playing with my intelligence,” Smith said.
Peterson’s attorney, Lucas Liefer, sought a mistrial Tuesday over media reports of Peterson’s alleged confession. Judge Richard A. Brown quickly denied his request.