(AP) — A judge Thursday sentenced former suburban Chicago police officer Drew Peterson to nearly 40-years in prison, after earlier in the day refusing to gran the 59-year-old Peterson a new murder trial in the death of his third wife.
The judge’s ruling came after Peterson’s current legal team argued for a new trial on grounds his former lead attorney botched the case.
Judge Edward Burmila then moved on to Peterson’s sentencing hearing, where the judge handed down a 38-year sentence for the former lawman.
Before the judge sentenced him, Peterson gave an emotional statement and shouted when he said “I did not kill Kathleen!” At one point sheriff’s deputies stepped forward closer to Peterson. Judge Edward Burmila fought to restore order in the court.
As Peterson continued he spoke in mostly hushed tones, crying and trying to regain his composure at times. His voice quivered and his hands shook as he reached out for a glass of water.
Jurors convicted Peterson in September in the 2004 death of Kathleen Savio. Her body was found in a dry bathtub. Peterson could have faced up to 60 years in prison for Savio’s murder.
Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, but hasn’t been charged.