CRIME
05/31/2016 04:32 pm ET

Drew Peterson Convicted Of Trying To Hire Hitman Behind Bars

The former Illinois cop was serving time for his third wife's murder when he tried to kill the prosecutor who convicted him, a jury found Tuesday.

Drew Peterson, a former Chicago-area police officer imprisoned for murdering his wife, was found guilty on Tuesday of trying to hire someone in 2014 to kill the prosecutor who convicted him, prosecutors said.

Peterson, 62, was found guilty of solicitation of murder and solicitation of murder for hire. He faces mandatory sentences of 20 to 40 years for the first charge and 15 to 30 years for the second charge, according to a statement by the Illinois Attorney General's office, which helped prosecute the case.

The jury deliberated for about an hour before finding Peterson guilty, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Former Illinois police sergeant Drew Peterson was found guilty Tuesday of trying to hire a hitman while behind bars.
Handout . / Reuters
Former Illinois police sergeant Drew Peterson was found guilty Tuesday of trying to hire a hitman while behind bars.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 26 before Randolph County Judge Richard Brown.

Peterson was charged with seeking a hitman from prison, where he is serving a 38-year sentence for the 2004 murder of Kathleen Savio, his third wife, a case that was made into a television movie starring Rob Lowe.

Peterson held a deadly grudge against Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, pictured, after the prosecutor convict
M. Spencer Green/AP
Peterson held a deadly grudge against Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, pictured, after the prosecutor convicted him in his third wife's murder.

The murder-for-hire case centers on recordings made at the maximum security Menard Correctional Center in southern Illinois where Peterson is serving his sentence and where a fellow inmate, Antonio Smith, taped him saying he wanted to hire someone to kill Glasgow, according to prosecutors.

Peterson's defense attorney Lucas Liefer said the recordings were nonsensical prison talk and that Peterson never directly said on the recordings that he wanted Glasgow killed. He also said Smith, serving time for attempted murder, was unreliable and a liar, newspaper reported.

Liefer could not be immediately reached by Reuters for comment.

Fellow inmate, Antonio Smith, also testified that Peterson admitted to killing his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who's
M. Spencer Green/AP
Fellow inmate, Antonio Smith, also testified that Peterson admitted to killing his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who's seen with him here.

Smith, who testified Peterson told him he would pay $10,000 for the murder, worked with authorities to record conversations in November 2014, the newspaper reported. Smith also testified that Peterson told him he killed his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

Prosecutors argued Peterson was guilty because he was deliberate and intentional in his actions to have Glasgow killed.

Savio was found dead in a bathtub in 2004, during a contentious divorce. Her death was at first ruled accidental, but suspicions were raised when Peterson's fourth wife disappeared in 2007.

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