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Drew Peterson makes long-shot pitch to U.S. Supreme Court

Convicted wife killer Drew Peterson was attacked in prison. | Richard Drew/AP

Drew Peterson is not done fighting his 2012 conviction for his third wife’s murder.

In a long-shot bid, the imprisoned former Bolingbrook cop filed a 38-page petition Monday hoping to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case, defense lawyer Steve Greenberg said.

The move comes nearly six years after a jury found Peterson guilty of the murder of Kathleen Savio, and nine months after the Illinois Supreme Court upheld that conviction.

Peterson is behind bars in a federal prison in Terre Haute, Indiana.

A spokesman for Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said the prosecutor “remains confident in the case.”

Much of the new petition revolves around the bombshell testimony by divorce attorney Harry Smith during Peterson’s trial. Smith testified that Peterson’s missing fourth wife, Stacy, asked him before she disappeared if she could get more money in a divorce if she threatened to tell the police “how (Peterson) killed Kathy.”

The Illinois Supreme Court found that Smith did not violate attorney/client privilege because he told Stacy at the outset of the discussion that he could not represent her.

But Greenberg compared that discussion to other hypothetical conversations people might have with an attorney — confessing a homicide to a lawyer who only handles drug cases; telling a lawyer, “I am not looking to retain counsel, but I had a few questions.”

“The Illinois court’s ruling, if left unchecked, would not protect any of these communications,” Greenberg wrote.

Smith gave his damning trial testimony after Joel Brodsky, Peterson’s lead attorney at the time, called him to the stand. In Monday’s petition, Greenberg called that move “unconscionable.”

“He elicited the strongest evidence proving Mr. Peterson’s guilt during the defense case,” Greenberg wrote. “It is difficult to imagine a greater abandonment of the adversarial process than producing evidence to support the adversary’s case.”

Greenberg told the high court that the prosecution “did not present any physical evidence linking Peterson to Savio’s death, nor did it present a witness who placed Peterson at Savio’s home during the estimated time of her death.”

Savio’s body was found in a dry bathtub on March 1, 2004. Authorities first ruled her death an accident but later exhumed and re-examined her body before deciding her death was a homicide. Peterson was arrested for her murder in May 2009.

No one has ever been charged in connection with Stacy Peterson disappearance. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times
No one has ever been charged in connection with Stacy Peterson disappearance. | Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times

Meanwhile, Stacy Peterson has been missing for more than a decade, and no one has ever been charged in connection with her disappearance. Peterson remains the prime suspect.

A Will County judge gave the now 64-year-old Peterson 38 years behind bars for Savio’s murder. Peterson has since landed a second conviction — and another 40 years in prison — for a murder-for-hire plot that targeted Glasgow.

As it stands, Peterson is not due out of prison until May 7, 2081.