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Drew Peterson, the notorious Illinois wife-killer who also once tried to kill a state attorney, will not be receiving his police pension despite his best efforts.
The 68-year-old former Bolingbrook police officer was sentenced to a 38-year prison term in 2013 for murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio, in 2004. He later received an additional 40 years in 2015 for conspiring to hire a hitman to kill Will County State Attorney James Glasgow, the man who prosecuted him in the Savio case.
Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007. She’s never been found and, while Peterson has never been charged in connection with her disappearance, investigators considered him a suspect in the still-open investigation.
The pension board terminated Peterson's benefits in the summer of 2016, ruling that his murders were related to his job. Peterson appealed, and his lawyers tried to claim that there was no connection between the murder conviction and his police officer duties.
An intermediate Illinois appellate court ruled against him on Thursday, determining that the pension board was correct to terminate Peterson’s benefits — which included a pension from the Bolingbrook Police Department — because the “murder of his ex-wife was related to, arose out of, or was in connection with his service as a police officer” when viewed by the “manifest weight of the evidence,” Law&Crime reports.
The appellate court noted in their decision that “a few years after Savio’s death — but before Peterson had been charged with the murder — Peterson told Donna Badalamenti, a friend of Stacy Peterson’s aunt, that he was well-trained and could get away with murder.”
It added that “Peterson’s police training records indicated that he had training in evidence handling and crime scene investigation.”
Therefore, the court stated that under Illinois statute, “a police officer shall have his pension benefits terminated if he ‘is convicted of any felony relating to or arising out of or in connection with his or her service as a police officer.’”
The former cop has also actively been trying to get his murder conviction thrown out. In a plea filed in October, he argued that the sentence should be vacated because he claimed he'd received ineffective counsel from his attorney and was subjected to alleged prosecutorial misconduct and witness intimidation, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Peterson is technically eligible for parole in 2081.
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