CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — Secret recordings between Drew Peterson and an inmate he's accused of trying to enlist to help kill a prosecutor show that the former suburban Chicago police officer discussed selling drugs in Mexico if he gets out of prison.
Jurors in Peterson's murder-for-hire trial in southern Illinois on Tuesday heard him boast to prison informant Antonio Smith about an acquaintance with "cartel connections," the Chicago Sun-Times reported (http://bit.ly/1OKOPT6 ).
Peterson, 62, is currently serving a 38-year-sentence and isn't Mexican. If convicted of trying to arrange the killing of Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, he could be sentenced to another 60 years in prison.
Smith testified Monday that Peterson, who was convicted of killing his third wife, Kathleen Savio, had referred to his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, as a "dead woman" and said he killed her. But in the recordings played in court Tuesday, the former Bolingbrook police sergeant can be heard telling Smith that Stacy Peterson is "still alive, running around out there."
Peterson has pleaded not guilty to trying to arrange the killing of Glasgow, who helped convict him in 2012 of killing Savio eight years earlier.
Smith, 25, is serving a 40-year sentence for attempted murder, home invasion and robbery. The Chicago gang member nicknamed "Beast" told both Glasgow and the FBI about Peterson's alleged efforts to find a hit man. He also agreed to wear a wire in exchange for $3,200 from the FBI to replace property lost after he was transferred to the federal prison system following his involvement with Peterson.
Lucas Liefer, Peterson's lawyer, dismissed the recordings as fanciful prison boasts that don't include Peterson directly stating that he wants Glasgow killed.
Drew Peterson has never been charged in Stacy Peterson's disappearance and has maintained his innocence.
But Randolph County State's Attorney Jeremy Walker has said that Peterson wanted Glasgow killed in part because he was worried that the Joliet prosecutor would also charge him in his fourth wife's death.
Peterson's first-degree murder conviction in Savio's death is under review by the Illinois Supreme Court.
This story has been corrected to show that Peterson faces up to 60 additional years in prison if convicted of attempting to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.