September 18, 2014
JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois judge has rejected a defense request to acquit former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson before the case goes to a jury.
Defense attorneys asked for a directed verdict after prosecutors rested Monday. Such motions ask the judge himself to render a not guilty verdict before jurors even deliberate.
Peterson has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. He was only charged after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007.
To grant a directed verdict, the judge must conclude the state fell far short of proving their case. Judges rarely grant such motion but Peterson's case has been unique.
Prosecutors presented no physical evidence linking Peterson to Savio's death and relied on normally barred hearsay.
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