CHESTER, IL (KTVI) - Jury selection is underway at the "murder for hire" trial of Drew Peterson. He arrived at the Randolph County courthouse this morning from the Menard Correctional Center in a prisoner van followed by several squad cars.
Peterson is the former suburban Chicago police officer sent to prison after being convicted of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her death was originally thought to be an accident after her body was found in a bathtub in 2004.
Three years later prosecutors began to suspect Peterson killed Kathleen after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, went missing. She has never been found and Peterson is considered the prime suspect in her disappearance.
Peterson is on trial for allegedly trying to hire a hitman to kill James Glasgow, the Will County State's Attorney who put him in prison for murdering Kathleen. During his sentencing in 2013 Peterson gave a 40 minute tirade telling the judge he believed Glasgow and other prosecutors had conspired to convict him.
Prosecutors are charging him with solicitation of murder after he was secretly recorded in prison by a fellow inmate allegedly discussing plans to hire a hitman to kill Glasgow. The prison where that recording was made, at Menard in Randolph County, which is why the case is being heard in Chester.
Jury selection should be finished Friday. Opening arguments will begin on Monday and the trial could last at least a week with more than 30 people on the witness list. The defense is expected to claim that there were irregularities involved in arranging those incriminating recordings and that they should not be allowed as evidence. If found guilty, Peterson could get up to 60 years in prison.
Peterson is not eligible for parole until the year 2047 for the murder sentence he's currently serving. he would ger out when he is 93 years old. He plans to appeal that case to the Illinois Supreme Court.