(CHICAGO) — Drew Peterson was the only person who had the motive and means to kill his wife, Kathleen Savio, and make it look like an accident in 2004, Illinois prosecutors said today.
Prosecutor Chris Koch began his closing statement by telling the Joliet, Ill., jury that when they “walked into this courthouse, you did not leave your common sense at the front door. It is clear this man, Drew Peterson, murdered Kathleen Savio,” according to ABC News station WLS.
The attack on Peterson was the first of the closing statements of the five-week trial in which Peterson is accused of first-degree murder in Savio’s death. The defense will offer its closing statement next.
Savio’s death was initially ruled an accident after she was found dead in her bathtub. After Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared without a trace in 2007, however, police exhumed Savio’s body and reexamined it as part of the Stacy Peterson investigation. They then changed the cause of death to homicide and charged Drew Peterson.
He has denied any involvement in Savio’s death, and prosecutors admit there is no physical evidence tying him to the scene of the crime. He has never been charged in connection with Stacy’s disappearance.
Prosecutors today reminded the jury that a witness called by the defense admitted that the chance of a healthy adult drowning in a bathtub was “one in a million.”
“Drew Peterson had the motive and means to make his third wife, Kathleen Savio’s bathtub drowning look like an accident,” Koch said.
The prosecution finished its closing statement this morning but will have a chance for rebuttal after the defense’s closing argument. The case is likely to be handed to the jury for deliberations by this afternoon.
Peterson’s attorneys said before court this morning that Peterson is ready for whichever way the verdict may fall.
“He’s a bit anxious but prepared emotionally for whatever happens,” attorney Joel Brodsky told WLS.
The defense’s closing statements are expected to focus on the lack of physical evidence and eyewitness accounts tying Peterson to the scene of Savio’s death.
Peterson’s trial has revolved around statements that both of his wives, Savio and Stacy Peterson, made to others. Stacy Peterson’s divorce attorney testified last week that she once asked him whether she should disclose in divorce proceedings that Drew killed Savio.
According to other witnesses, Savio made statements to friends and family members showing anxiety that Drew Peterson would hurt her, and had threatened to kill her in the past.
The hearsay testimony was the subject of contentious legal battles between defense attorneys and prosecutors.
The former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant faces 60 years in prison if convicted.
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Eli Watkins, CNN
David Williams, CNN
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