Drew Peterson, ex-Illinois police officer convicted of wife's murder, on trial again

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Opening Statements to Begin in Drew Peterson Murder-for-Hire Trial

Drew Peterson, a former Chicago-area police officer who is in prison for murdering his wife, went on trial on Monday on charges that he tried to hire someone in 2014 to kill the prosecutor who won his conviction.

Peterson, 62, is accused of trying to contract the killing of James Glasgow, the Will County prosecutor.

He allegedly sought a hit man 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.

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Drew Peterson, ex-Illinois police officer convicted of wife's murder, on trial again
Drew Peterson was set to appear in court Monday on charges that he tried to hire a hitman to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, sources told WGN. Peterson was convicted of killing his third wife Kathleen Savio in 2012 and is a suspect in his fourth wife's disappearance.
Attorneys for Drew Peterson's defense, from left, Joe Lopez, David Peilet and Steve Greenberg hold a news conference outside the Will County Courthouse after Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the murder of Kathleen Savio, on Thursday, February 21, 2013, in Joliet, Illinois. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Will County's State's Attorney James W. Glasgow holds a news conference at Joliet City Hall in Joliet, Illinois, after Drew Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the murder of Kathleen Savio on Thursday, February 21, 2013. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Will County's State's Attorney James W. Glasgow, left, shakes hands with Cassandra Cales, the sister of Stacy Peterson, after a news conference at City Hall in Joliet, Illinois, on Thursday, February 21, 2013, where it was announced that Drew Peterson was denied a new trial in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, and sentenced to 38 years in prison. Drew Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, is still missing. (Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow holds a news conference outside Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, on Thursday, September 6, 2012, following the murder conviction of Drew Peterson in the death of Kathleen Savio. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Family of Kathleen Savio, including stepmother Marcia Savio, left, half-brother Nicholas Savio, center, and father Henry Savio, right, make a statement outside Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, on Thursday, September 6, 2012, after Drew Peterson was found guilty of killing Kathleen Savio. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Court-watchers applaud the guilty verdict in Drew Peterson's murder trial outside Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, on Thursday, September 6, 2012, after the former police officer was found guilty of killing Kathleen Savio. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Kathleen Savio's stepmother, Marcia Savio, center, and Kathleen Savio's father, Henry Savio, right, walk outside Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, on Thursday, September 6, 2012, after Drew Peterson was found guilty of killing Kathleen Savio. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow arrives for jury instructions in the Drew Peterson trial at Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Illinois, Wednesday, September 5, 2012. (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
JOLIET, IL - JULY 31: Joel Brodsky, attorney for Drew Peterson, leaves the Will County Courthouse during a recess in Peterson's murder trial July 31, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. Opening arguments in Peterson's trial began today. Peterson, a former Bolingbrook, Illinois police sergeant is on trial for the murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio. Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife Stacy Peterson. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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Peterson is charged with solicitation of murder, and an eight-man, four-women jury was selected on Friday, with two alternates, for the trial before Randolph County Circuit Judge Richard Brown. Peterson has pleaded not guilty.

The 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 taped him allegedly saying he wanted to hire someone to kill Glasgow.

The inmate, Antonio Smith, testified that Smith told him he would pay $10,000 for the murder and also that Peterson admitted to him that he killed his missing fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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Peterson's defense attorney Lucas Liefer argued in his opening statement that the recordings are half unintelligible and half nonsensical prison talk, the newspaper reported.

Prosecutors say Peterson was obsessed with getting revenge on Glasgow after the former police officer was found guilty of murdering Savio.

"Anger, hatred, revenge. Ladies and gentlemen, that is why we are here," State's Attorney Jeremy Walker told jurors, according to the Sun-Times newspaper online.

Glasgow was called as a witness to testify about a diatribe that Peterson made against him during his 2013 sentencing hearing for the murder of Savio, the Sun-Times reported.

Peterson was a long-serving police officer from the Chicago suburb of Bolingbrook in northern Illinois, but his current trial is in Randolph County where the Menard prison is located.

His defense attorney, Liefer, did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment.

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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