Whether or not Drew Peterson's dead third wife predicted he would kill her, or his missing fourth wife confided in a divorce attorney that he committed murder, the jury is not going to hear about it.
The appellate court shot down a bid by prosecutors to use hearsay evidence against Peterson, a disgraced former Bolingbrook police sergeant charged with killing one wife and suspected by the state cops of having a hand in the death of another.
"They slammed the door in their face," defense attorney Joseph "Shark" Lopez said of the appellate court denying the prosecution appeal.
The 56-page opinion points out that prosecutors blew the deadline to file an appeal.
"Accordingly, we lack jurisdiction to hear the state’s appeal of the circuit court’s ruling on this issue, and that appeal is dismissed," the opinion says.
"I don't understand why that happened," Lopez said of the missed deadline."That wouldn't have happened at 219 S. Dearborn," he added, referring to the federal court in Chicago.
Lopez's wife, attorney Lisa Lopez, and attorney Steven Greenberg argued against the appeal during a February hearing in Ottawa.
Greenberg, who is vacationing in Israel, commented on the decision via email, saying, "A complete victory for the defense. You can't make new rules as you go along."
Shark Lopez said his wife and Greenberg spent 70 hours over Thanksgiving weekend preparing their argument for the appellate court. "This was a Greenberg-Sharkette attack," he said.
Peterson was arrested in May 2009 on charges he murdered his third wife, Kathleen Savio. His trial was set to start in July 2010, but the day before jury selection was to begin, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow appealed Judge Stephen White's decision on what hearsay evidence could be used against Peterson at trial.
Peterson's attorneys have tried without success to have Peterson released from the Will County jail during the lengthy appeal process. He is being held on a $20 million bond.
Savio was found drowned in a dry bathtub in March 2004. The state police determined she died accidentally and stuck to that story until Peterson's next wife, Stacy Peterson, mysteriously vanished in October 2007.
Stacy Peterson remains missing. The state police have called her case a "potential homicide" and identified Drew Peterson as the sole suspect in its investigation.
Prosecutors can request that the Illinois Supreme Court hear the appeal but Lopez does not expect the higher court to take the case.
"They blew it," he said of Glasgow's office.
"It's over for them," he said. "I can't see how the supreme court is going to hear it.
Ken Grey, a top prosecutor in the state's attorney's office, said Glasgow was still reviewing the decision.