The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered a state appeals court to reconsider its ruling on hearsay evidence in Drew Peterson's murder trial.
In July an appellate court agreed with a lower court ruling that eight of 14 pieces of hearsay statements would not be admissible in court. Prosecutors said the evidence is crucial to their case, and Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow filed a petition in August with the Illinois Supreme Court.
The high court on Wednesday ordered the appellate court to vacate its judgment "for lack of jurisdiction" and re-address it. The move likely will further delay an already pushed-back trial.
“I am extraordinarily pleased by Wednesday’s Illinois Supreme Court order in the matter of People v. Peterson," Glasgow said in a statement. "I look forward to receiving an Appellate Court ruling on the merits of our appeal in light of the Illinois Supreme Court’s holdings in People v. Hanson. We anticipate a trial sometime in the spring.”
Peterson is charged with the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose body was found in 2004 in a waterless bathtub. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant has been in the Will County jail since 2009 awaiting trial.
Peterson also is the only suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. After Stacy vanished in 2007, authorities exhumed Savio’s body and reclassified what initially was believed an accident as a homicide.
In September Peterson's attorneys asked the Illinois Supreme Court to release him from jail because prosecutors' appeals to the same court have delayed his murder trial.
That request was denied.