By: Dan Rozek,Jon Seidel,and Rummana Hussain
The silver-haired Peterson — whose tangled marital history became a made-for-cable TV movie — appeared stoic in the courtroom as he was convicted of murdering his 40-year-old ex-wife, with whom he has two now-teenage sons. There were gasps in the courtroom when the verdict was read.
The 58-year-old Peterson faces a minimum 20-year prison term when he is sentenced Nov. 26.
Earlier Thursday, the seven-man, five-woman jury asked the judge in a note: What does unanimous mean?
Their note to Judge Edward Burmila came after about 13 hours of deliberations. After a brief objection by the prosecution, who did not want the judge to respond at all, Burmila wrote that unanimous means that the verdict has to be agreed upon by all 12 jurors.
The question immediately prompted speculation that the jury was having difficulty reaching a unanimous verdict.
The prosecution relied heavily on hearsay statements from Savio and from Peterson’s still-missing fourth wife, Stacy. Pathologists called by prosecutors provided medical testimony that Savio’s bizarre death was a murder, not an accident as originally classified.
Her body was exhumed and her death re-examined in November 2007, just weeks after 23-year-old Stacy Peterson vanished from the Bolingbrook home she shared with Drew Peterson.
Peterson was charged in May 2009 with two counts of first-degree murder in Savio’s death. He has been named a suspect in Stacy’s disappearance but has never been charged in that case.
Read More about the hearing here.