Convicted wife-killer Drew Peterson allegedly once fantasized that Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow would be eulogized as the man who put him away.
But nearly four years after Glasgow led the team of prosecutors that secured Peterson’s murder conviction, a new team wants to make sure Peterson never takes another free breath. Randolph County State’s Attorney Jeremy Walker and the Illinois Attorney General’s office have spent aweek putting Peterson on trial for allegedly trying to have Glasgow killed in downtown Joliet.
Now closing arguments are set to begin Tuesday in a downstate courthouse overlooking the Mississippi River near Menard Correctional Center.
That’s where Peterson, 62, is serving his 38-year prison sentence for the murder of Kathleen Savio. His anticipated release date is in 2047, when the former Bolingbrook cop would be 93. If convicted of the new charges — solicitation of murder for hire and solicitation of murder —he could face an additional 60 years in prison.
A three-judge appellate panel unanimously upheld Peterson’s murder conviction last fall, but the Illinois Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the case.
Peterson’s trial this month in Randolph County has been a speedier, more low-key affair than his 2012 murder trial in Will County. But it has nevertheless added a new and colorful chapter to the Peterson lore.
It featured the first face-to-face confrontation between Peterson and Glasgow since Peterson’s February 2013 sentencing hearing. That’s when Peterson told Glasgow in a lengthy courtroom rant to “never forget my face, never forget what you have done here.” And in a surreal moment last week, Glasgow read those words aloud to the Randolph County jury as Peterson listened.
Peterson landed at Menard a week after that sentencing hearing, and prosecutors say he befriended a Satan’s Disciple known as “Beast.” The gang member’s real name is Antonio Smith, and he turned out to be a scheming jailhouse informant who wore a wire on Peterson late in 2014. Smith said the pair was plotting to have Glasgow murdered.
Smith testified that Peterson “admitted to me that he killed Stacy Peterson” —a reference to Peterson’s fourth wife who vanished without a trace in 2007. However, that comment was allegedly made before Smith began recording Peterson. And on a recording, Peterson can be heard telling Smith that “Stacy’s still alive, running around out there.”
Peterson’s attorney, Lucas Liefer, told jurors Smith can’t be trusted. He also said they would never explicitly hear Peterson ask Smith on tape to have Glasgow killed. But Walker said Peterson mused about celebrating Glasgow’s death with booze smuggled into the prison. Peterson even went so far as to call it the best Christmas present he could receive, Walker said.
During a Nov. 13, 2014, recording, Smith questioned Peterson about his hope of getting 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—— beating me under the table,” Peterson said of Glasgow. “He’s calling these judges or going golfing with them or some f—— thing. So with that happening, how, how can you fight that?”
In a note written to Peterson, Smith also 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.”
Meanwhile, Peterson can also be heard on the recordings bellyaching about his murder trial, telling Smith he’s only behind bars because of his “idiot f—— lawyer, not ’cause Glasgow’s good.”
He also told Smith they would join a Mexican cartel if they ever got out of prison.