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Drew Peterson abandons appeal, wants trial date

FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his former wife Kathleen Savio. Peterson's attorneys are asking the Illinois Supreme Court to release the former Bolingbrook police sergeant from jail because prosecutors' appeal to the same court has delayed his murder trial. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

Drew Peterson wants a speedy trial, not another lengthy appeal.

That’s why the former Bolingbrook cop won’t fight a recent Illinois appellate court decision allowing more hearsay evidence to be used against him when he stands trial for the 2004 drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

“We want to get the case rolling,” defense attorney Joel Brodsky said. “We want to get it back and get a trial date.”

His attorneys on Tuesday formally asked the 3rd District Appellate court to return his case quickly to Will County, with Brodsky predicting the 58-year-old Peterson could stand trial as early as July.

That request means Peterson, who has been jailed since his May 2009 arrest, won’t launch an appeal asking the Illinois Supreme Court to overturn the lower court ruling allowing eight previously barred hearsay statements from being used at his trial.

Peterson initially was scheduled to stand trial in July 2010, but two appeals by Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow over disputed secondhand-statements, allegedly linking Peterson to Savio’s death, repeatedly delayed that proceeding.

There still may be other delays.

Brodsky said he likely will seek to have the controversial statements excluded from the trial – an effort that would require more hearings and take more time.

A Glasgow spokesman declined to comment on the Peterson’s latest move, except to say prosecutors are prepared for his trial.

“We’re ready to go to trial,” spokesman Charles Pelkie said.

Peterson has been named a suspect – but never charged – in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy.