(Reuters) - Drew Peterson, a former Chicago-area police officer who is in prison for murdering his wife, tried to hire someone in 2014 to kill the state's attorney who won his conviction, prosecutors said on Monday at the start of Peterson's murder-for-hire trial.
Peterson, 62, is accused of trying to contract someone to kill James Glasgow, the Will County prosecutor. He allegedly sought a hit man from prison, where he is serving a 38-year sentence for the 2004 murder of Kathleen Savio, his third wife.
Peterson is now charged with solicitation of murder, and an eight-man, four-women jury was selected on Friday, with two alternates, for the trial before Randolph County Circuit Judge Richard Brown. Peterson has pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors say Peterson was obsessed with getting revenge on Glasgow after the former police officer was found guilty of murdering Savio.
"Anger, hatred, revenge. Ladies and gentlemen, that is why we are here," State's Attorney Jeremy Walker told jurors, according to the Sun-Times newspaper online.
Glasgow was called as a witness to testify about a diatribe that Peterson made against him during his 2013 sentencing hearing for the murder of Savio, the Sun-Times reported.
Peterson, a long-serving police officer from the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook, is serving his sentence in the maximum security Menard Correctional Center in Randolph County in southern Illinois, about 45 miles south of St. Louis, Missouri.
The prosecution is based on secret recordings made by a fellow inmate at Menard who befriended Peterson and who allegedly taped him saying he wanted to hire someone to kill Glasgow.
Savio was found dead in a bathtub in 2004, during a contentious divorce. Her death was at first ruled accidental, but suspicions were raised when Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007.
The Savio murder case was made into a Lifetime television network movie about the case, called "Untouchable," and starring Rob Lowe as Peterson.
(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)