Posted: 02/21/2013 4:42 pm EST | Updated: 02/21/2013 4:54 pm EST | The Huffington Post Chicago
Prior to the sentencing, Judge Edward Burmila ruled that Peterson, 59, would not be granted a retrial. He faced a maximum sentence of 60 years in prison in Savio’s drowning death in a bathtub. Peterson faced a minimum of 20 years and shouted “I did not kill Kathleen!” during an unexpected outburst in the Joliet, Ill. courtroom Thursday. A Savio relative reportedly responded “Yes, you did!” and was ordered removed from court.
Peterson will be required to serve the entirety of his sentence. He spoke at length ahead of his sentencing — for nearly half an hour — and accused the media capitalized on his being an “obnoxious man by nature” and said the Lifetime movie about him “pretty much guaranteed” he would not receive a fair trial.
(The Chicago Sun-Times’ Craig Newman’s Storify of what Peterson said in court Thursday.)
If he lives for the entirety of his sentence, he will be 93 years old by the time of its completion.
Prosecutors had pushed for a sentence in the “higher range” because they say Peterson betrayed the public’s trust, according to ABC Chicago.
“This sentence needs to send a very strong message that this will not be tolerated,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said, according to the station.
The retrial hearing entailed two days of witnesses who spoke to Peterson’s attorneys’ claim that their client should have gotten a new trial because former lead attorney Joel Brodsky mishandled the proceedings, which ended, last fall, to the ex-cop’s murder conviction, NBC Chicago reports.
Specifically, Steve Greenberg, who continues to represent Peterson, claimed that Brodsky should never have called Harry Smith, divorce attorney for Peterson’s fourth wife Stacy Peterson, to testify during the trial, according to the Associated Press. Stacy Peterson has been missing since 2007.
Victim impact statements were read earlier Thursday by two Savio sisters and her brother.
“My loss of my baby sister is beyond words. There will be no more birthday parties, backyard gatherings, holiday celebrations or other family activities to share,” Anna Marie Savio-Doman, Savio’s sister, said Thursday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Legal experts previously predicted that, though a Peterson appeal was practically inevitable, it stood little chance of success.