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JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL

Drew Peterson Found Guilty of Murder

Aired September 6, 2012 - 19:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL taking over right now.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST: Breaking news tonight: a verdict in the Drew Peterson murder trial. After nearly 14 hours of deliberation, the jury unanimously rules the ex-cop guilty of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

Next, overwhelming emotional reaction. The very latest details straight from the courthouse. We are taking your calls for the entire hour. And we are talking to family members who have waited years for this day to come.

Plus, what does this mean for missing wife No. 4, Stacy Peterson`s case? Next.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL (voice-over): Tonight, the verdict is in. There is justice in Joliet. Emotions spill over. Cheers and tears of relief as ex- cop Drew Peterson is found guilty of murdering his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Her death originally ruled an accident. But jurors have now determined she died at the hands of her then-husband.

Is the former cop going away for life? And what does this all mean for the Stacy Peterson case, Drew`s fourth wife, who vanished and cops suspect is dead? Did Stacy`s words help convict Drew in Kathleen`s murder? My expert panel, plus Stacy`s friends and family, weigh in tonight. And I`m taking your calls on this case for the hour.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think happy jurors don`t convict.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We now have a verdict. It is guilty first- degree murder.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: First-degree murder, guilty. As soon as we got the word, hundreds of people out here started cheering.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Any message for Drew Peterson?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Enjoy your time in the big house, bubba.

NICK SAVIO, KATHLEEN`S BROTHER: Here we are, eight years later. She`s suffering and now waiting for a decision; it`s very, very nerve- wracking. It`s hard on the family.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He`s relaxed, confident for whatever comes his way.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As the search for Stacy intensified, investigators reopened the investigation into the death of Peterson`s third wife, Kathleen Savio.

LARRY KING, FORMER CNN ANCHOR: Were you surprised when the body was exhumed and they changed the determination of death?

PETERSON: Very surprised. Yes. For many years my children and I, you know, believed that, you know, she died in a household accident.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think happy jurors don`t convict. That`s my personal opinion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A few days back I thought it might be a hung jury. I don`t any more. I believe it`s going to be guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: After the evidence that they asked for yesterday, I -- almost 100 percent sure it`s guilty.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Those are again the most two profound statements made in this trial.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You have the same criminal charge but different theories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty! Guilty!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty! Guilty!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Guilty! Guilty!

N. SAVIO: I`ll never have my sister again. I still have to go see her at the cemetery.

MARCIA SAVIO, KATHLEEN`S MOTHER: Finally somebody heard Kathleen`s cry. Twelve people did the right thing. Thank God.

N. SAVIO: At least I know that she got justice at the hands of the cold-blooded killer up there.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Breaking news tonight: guilty. That`s right. Guilty, that is the verdict in the Drew Peterson trial. Seven men, five women found the former cop guilty of murder in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

She was found dead in her bathtub way back in 2004. At first cops said, "This is just an accident." Then Drew`s fourth wife, Stacy, suddenly disappeared about five years ago. That forced investigators to take a second look at Kathleen`s death. Her body was exhumed and then ruled a homicide.

Kathleen`s family has waited eight long years for justice. And just a little while ago they released raw emotion outside court after they heard the guilty verdict.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

N. SAVIO: I`ll never have my sister again. I still have to go see her in the cemetery. But at least I know she got justice from the hands of that cold-blooded killer up there.

I have a speech. And this is from the family. Anyone can harm, hurt, break your heart or for that matter can take someone`s life from them, but that person has to live with themselves and their conscience for what they have done to another human being. You cannot harm others and justify yourself as a victim. It works strangely, but everyone gets a payback for what they have done to others. And this is always -- always a conviction we will stand by.

The Savio family are so thankful that this day has finally come and that Kathleen has finally received justice, and it has been for a very long time in coming.

M. SAVIO: Finally somebody heard Kathleen`s cry. Twelve people did the right thing. Thank, God. Now we`re going to go see Kitty and let her know how much we love her. And she won today. It`s her victory. And all those other lawyers can go smoke cigars downstairs with the red man in the suit and swish their tails.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Cheers, tears, such a long time coming for the Savios. But is their nightmare finally over?

Drew`s defense team announced their plans for an appeal just moments after they heard the verdict. And what about Stacy Peterson? We are covering this from every angle for the hour. And I want to hear from you at home. Call me. Did the jury get it right? What do you think? Call me: 1877-JVM-SAYS, 1-877-586-7297.

Straight out to my very special guest. We are honored to have Candace Aikin, Stacy Peterson`s aunt. Stacy, missing or presumed dead, wife No. 4.

Candace, you were inside court today. You have been waiting for this moment for your niece, Drew`s fourth wife, who has been missing for five long years. Tell us what it was like inside court. So many people, it was such a small courtroom. We all wanted to be inside. What was it like at the moment that the verdict came down?

CANDACE AIKIN, STACY PETERSON`S AUNT: It was pretty shocking. Even so that`s what I was looking for, the guilty verdict. But it was pretty shocking. We couldn`t respond until we got outside of the courtroom. And then I just broke down and cried. But it was good news because for justice to be done for Kathleen.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Did you see Drew Peterson`s expression or -- I`ve been in so many courtrooms, even the back of somebody`s head can tell a lot if their head falls down. What did you notice?

AIKIN: I tried to look over at him. And I just could see the side of his face. And I saw no emotion. No change. No emotion.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You weren`t allowed to testify. But had you been able to take the stand, what would you have said?

AIKIN: I was going to say that he had said in front of me that he can kill and make it look like an accident.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Oh. There were so many statements, so many statements.

It would seem that this was one of the most overwhelming cases in terms of circumstantial evidence. But the CSI evidence wasn`t there because, frankly, the cops didn`t do their job initially. They looked at this case, they saw a former cop. And I think they put their blinders on.

You know, cops had been called, Candace, 18 times to the Savio home because of domestic violence incidents. There was obvious motive. They were dividing up the marital assets. The list goes on and on. She had too many injuries for a simple slip.

Do you feel that this ultimately is a case of police putting on their blinders to protect someone who was one of their own? And had they acted the way many believed they should have acted, to call this a homicide eight years ago, do you think that your niece, Stacy Peterson, would be alive today?

AIKIN: Well, I have wondered and asked myself that question many times if the police were putting on blinders. Because I really don`t understand how they could call a homicide an accident. And, yes, I believe that, if it was handled correctly the first time, as was found out today that it was a homicide, I believe that we would have Stacy today. It`s so sad that two women had to die.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The crowd outside court -- they didn`t just cheer when the verdict was announced. They sang. It was so emotional. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (singing): The lady killer won`t be getting out of jail. Who`d thought a few weeks ago that justice would prevail? Once (UNINTELLIGIBLE) policeman swore to protect and serve will be in jail for 20 plus. He got what he deserved!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, we got it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right. I understand that, Candace, your brother, Keith, is also there. Keith, I want to get your reaction. This is breaking news. So tell us, what -- what is your reaction to this extraordinary verdict?

KYLE TOUTGES, STACY PETERSON`S UNCLE: It`s Kyle.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kyle, go ahead, Kyle.

TOUTGES: I`m very pleased with...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: My apologies.

TOUTGES: That`s all right. I`ve been called worse. Hey, I`m very excited for the verdict, that -- I`m glad that he got what he deserved. He said -- I would have testified what he told -- what I heard him say was let them prove it. Well, they proved it. They proved it today. And I`m just glad he got what he deserved.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you want to see happen now for Stacy? Your sister just said that...

TOUTGES: I would like for him...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Go ahead.

TOUTGES: Yes. If something was overlooked somewhere and if they would have done their job, then Stacy wouldn`t be missing. And Drew just needs to come clean and tell us what he did with her.

Now, there`s no way we believe that she ran off with another man. Because he would have known that man. He would have known everything about that man. So his story doesn`t fit at all.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, in fact, just moments ago we got a bombshell. And Beth Karas got this piece of information. Let`s listen to it. And then we`re going to analyze. Stay right there. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BETH KARAS, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": Do you think he should be prosecuted for your sister`s death? If it`s indeed a death. I know she hasn`t been declared dead but many believe she is.

CASSANDRA CALES, STACY PETERSON`S SISTER: Yes, she`s -- he`ll be prosecuted.

KARAS: Do you believe that?

CALES: Yes. Sooner than later. Yes.

KARAS: Really? Have they told you that, the authorities?

CALES: I can`t answer that.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: So, Kyle, we`re hearing indications that an indictment could be coming down soon in the case of Stacy, Stacy who is missing and presumed dead but whose body has never been found. What`s your reaction to that?

TOUTGES: Right. He needs to be prosecuted for that one, too. I mean, he did them both. Today just proved it. It was proven today. There is no doubt in my mind that he killed Stacy, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Pam...

TOUTGES: Because she would have never left her children. She would have never left her family.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Pam Bosco, Stacy Peterson`s family friend. Here`s the thing that I think has created the rage, the rage at Drew Peterson is his arrogance. The fact that not only was he running around with a video camera making a mockery of all this, but the fact that he did things like he went on a radio show and did a "Dating with Drew" segment. Was his arrogance and his cruelty really what pushed this into the national spotlight, Pam?

PAM BOSCO, FAMILY FRIEND: You know, he turned himself into a coldhearted killer way back when, when Stacy disappeared. So yes, I think that hit home to a lot of people. A lot of people did think he was guilty from day one. He showed no emotion when Stacy disappeared.

So the world can`t be wrong. The defense team said, you know, the world judged him a long time ago. But he did it to himself.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: You know, speaking from beyond the grave, statements from Kathleen and Stacy who is missing and presumed dead were the game- changers in this case. Listen to this from Drew Peterson`s attorney. And I want to get the family`s reaction.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a dark day in America when you can convict somebody on hearsay evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A very dark day in America when you let this in. Who knows what the next victim of this hearsay is going to be and who it`s going to be?

Just goes to show that when somebody`s unpopular and going through a divorce and you have people manufacturing statements and coming out of the woodwork to put in and then they`re allowing it in manufactured as hearsay or manufactured as evidence, hearsay that -- disguised as evidence, what are you going to do?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Pam Bosco, I want to get your reaction. The defense claiming, well, the deck was stacked against them. They weren`t able to counteract the hearsay evidence, because they can`t confront the person who said the hearsay evidence. What are your thoughts on that, Pam?

BOSCO: First of all, the deck was stacked against Kathy a long time ago. But that being said, there`s a lot -- a whole lot more evidence in this case than just the hearsay.

Yes, the hearsay was strong. It was powerful. It was profound. But, you know, there`s a lot of evidence. I think the picture of Kathleen alone in the bathtub spoke tons to the jury.

So you just -- they can`t just point the finger at the hearsay evidence. There was a lot more in this case than just that. Circumstantial evidence was very strong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re just getting started. On the other side, more from the family and your calls.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

M. SAVIO: Finally, somebody heard Kathleen`s cry. Twelve people did the right thing. Oh, thank God. Now we`re going to go see Kitty and let her know how much we love her. And she won today. It`s her victory. And all those other lawyers can go smoke cigars downstairs with the red man in the suit and swish their tails.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Kathleen Savio`s mother. Emotion pouring out. There were cheers. There were tears. People were singing. Joy in Joliet because Drew Peterson has been found guilty of murder. But remember that`s murder of wife No. 3. Wife No. 4, Stacy Peterson, is missing and presumed dead. He has not been prosecuted for that case.

I want to go back to missing Stacy`s uncle, Kyle Toutges. And Kyle, I understand that Drew Peterson said something very shocking to you right after Kathleen was found dead in the tub. Tell us about that.

TOUTGES: I was out in his garage. It was my father`s 80th birthday party that we had to postpone because Kathleen, they had to bury her the week before on his birthday. So we threw the party a week later. And we were in the garage. And some other friends and neighbors out there. And they were talking how convenient it was for his wife, Kathleen, to die at this time in the middle of the divorce and how bad it really looked for him. And he just put on that arrogant face and said, "Let them prove it." That was his close-knit words.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

TOUTGES: That`s what he had said.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Unbelievable.

TOUTGES: Sends chills down your spine.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney, we`re hearing now that an indictment could be coming down, at least that`s a prediction by some family members. No body, no case, that`s an old saying. What do you say about the likelihood or the possibility of Drew Peterson being prosecuted for missing wife No. 4, Stacy?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Well, before we had, you know, a lot of forensic evidence, it used to be no body, no case. But now that we have the forensic evidence and now people have learned to trust circumstantial evidence, Jane. And this is a victory for women who are battered and eventually killed. Because these kinds of cases weren`t prosecuted.

And I think people sat up and took notice when Josh Powell, who was suspected of killing his wife, was never arrested. And the end result is that he ended up murdering his two boys and then killing himself. I think a lot of people were shaken. And they realize we do need to look at these cases. And even if there is no body, we still need to put up a circumstantial case. And we still need to let a jury decide if, in fact, this person is guilty.

So I think the likelihood of an indictment is very strong. This jury was very brave. And they have proven to the community that they are not afraid to convict on circumstantial evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Michael Christian, senior field producer, "In Session," you were there. Usually this case boils down to a star witness. Was it the pastor? The pastor?

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SENIOR FIELD PRODUCER, TRUTV`S "IN SESSION": You know, it`s funny. There were two star prosecution witnesses here, except one of them was called by the defense, Jane.

I think Neil Schori was definitely a star witness for the prosecution as a prosecution witness. But Harry Smith being called by the defense in this case, that was a huge blunder on the part of the defense. He was an excellent witness for the prosecution. They basically snatched that one from, you know, the mouth of the angels. That was -- Harry Smith was a pivotal witness for the prosecution, and the defense called him.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Beth Karas, you`ve done an extraordinary job covering this. Give us a very short summary of what the defense attorney and what the reverend said that was such a bombshell.

KARAS: Well, both of them testified to what Stacy Peterson told them about the night Kathleen Savio died: what she observed and heard her husband say before she even knew Savio was dead. And how he`d coached her for hours to lie to the police, telling her, "The police are going to want to talk to you. You`re going to lie to them about my whereabouts tonight."

She saw him come home in the middle of the night. They had gone to bed together. She woke up; he wasn`t there. She tried calling him, couldn`t reach him. He comes home in the early morning hours dressed in black, carrying a bag. He empties the bag of women`s clothes into the washer. Puts his own clothes -- he takes them off, puts them in the washer. She looks in the washer, and those women`s clothes are not hers.

And then he told her, "The police are going to want to talk to you, and let`s talk about what you`re going to say."

Then she learns that Kathleen Savio died. When she talked to the police two days later, she was crying by the end of it, and Drew Peterson stood -- sat right next to her 12 inches away. The police let him be in on that interview. And you have to wonder whether or not this woman, who had a little baby at that time and was now going to adopt Kathleen Savio`s boys, who are 11 and 9 at the time, was thinking. She was maybe 20 years old. She was 19 -- 19, 20 years old at the time. She was a child herself. And now she had three children to raise.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Outrageous that police would allow Drew Peterson to sit in as they are interviewing his wife, a wife who later vanished and is presumed dead. And who may have spoken from beyond the grave.

On the other hand, Lisa, Indiana, Lynn Ann, Arkansas, we`re taking your calls.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

N. SAVIO: We wish and pray that Kathleen`s sons never forget their mom. And that, with all the tragedy they have had to face at such young ages, that they live healthy, fruitful and successful lives.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What would you tell Anthony and Lacy?

CALES: I love them. And I miss them dearly. I don`t know what they`ve been told for the past years. I haven`t been able to see the children.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the youngest victims in this case, Drew Peterson`s children. Four out of the six kids have lost both their mothers and their father. What a horror for them. Our hearts go out to them.

And we`re going out to the phone lines now. Lynn Anne, Arkansas, you`ve been waiting so patiently. Your question or thought, Lynn Anne.

CALLER: Thank you, Jane, for taking my call. Finally, justice is being served for a woman that was murdered at the hands of a man. You know what? He can`t hide behind his badge with that smug look any more. Way to go, jurors. Way to go.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And we want to go out again to the phone lines and talk to Lisa from Indiana. You`re also waiting a long time. Lisa, Indiana, your question or thought.

CALLER: Yes. Hi, Jane. Love your show. Watch every night.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Thank you. Thank you.

CALLER: And my comment is yay, I`m glad they`re investigating. And my question is are they still investigating the blue barrel that was in Drew`s house? And will he be prosecuted for her disappearance?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, thank you for your patience, as well. We were getting a lot of family members who showed up to speak to us, and we wanted to get them.

But it was this infamous blue barrel. A relative said, "Oh, right around the time Stacy went missing I helped Drew move a blue barrel that was warm to the touch." What do you know about the investigation into her disappearance?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: That was Mr. Morphey. That was Drew Peterson`s stepbrother. And he wouldn`t give him any credence: "Oh, no, he`s not telling the truth; he`s got drug problems. He`s got this and that." You know, and then he attempted -- Mr. Morphey attempted suicide shortly thereafter.

You know, but I think, you know, they are -- this is not a closed case. When I was out there in Joliet, Jane, I asked Bolingbrook Police about it: "Nope, it`s all being investigated by Illinois State Police."

And I tell you, Jane, when I was out there, there`s a lot of people -- and we just heard it tonight from -- from one of Stacy`s relatives, Stacy`s sister, that there could be an indictment. There`s a lot of people that think there will be. So time will tell. And I would love to see them indict him for that.

But I would really like to find where Stacy is. And the blue barrel, they looked for that blue barrel in the canal just not too far from Joliet between Romeoville and Bolingbrook. They looked for that blue barrel. They had Tim Millard, Texas EquuSearch. And, you know, they never found her body, Jane. And that`s the problem. Where is she? And hopefully, we`ll be able to -- we`ll be able to find out where she is.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I remember, Mike, that they had aerial shots where they actually saw a blue barrel in some river. And everybody got excited. And of course, it was a false sighting.

BROOKS: That was in Chicago`s sanitary canal. Yes, they did.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. Yes. So they still haven`t gotten the big break they need.

On the other side of our break, we`re going to talk about what`s next for Drew Peterson`s sentencing. Where is he going to go? How many years? Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK SAVIO, BROTHER OF KATHLEEN SAVIO: I`ll never have my sister again. I still have to go see her at a cemetery. But at least I know she got justice at the hands of the cold-blooded killer up there. The Savio family are so thankful that this day has finally come and that Kathleen has finally received justice. It has been for a very long time coming.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HLN HOST: The brother of the murder victim -- so much emotion, tears, cheers, singing even, because Drew Peterson, the ex- cop, has been found guilty in the murder of wife number three, Kathleen Savio. You just heard her brother`s emotional reaction to the verdict. Listen to what happened outside court. Extraordinary.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Lady killer won`t be getting out jail. Who`d have thought a few weeks ago that justice would prevail? Once a respected policeman swore to protect and serve will be in jail for 20 plus. He got what he deserved.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He got what he deserved. That was what they were literally singing outside court as this man was found guilty of murder.

And I want to go to one of his attorneys, Daryl Goldberg. Thank you for joining us. It`s a difficult day. It`s hard to talk. And I appreciate you taking the time to talk when you lost in this case. The rage and the joy at your client, many feel it`s because of his arrogance. Look at him running around with a video camera, videotaping the media. He was on a game show "Win a Date with Drew" when wife number three is dead, wife number four is missing. Do you think his outrageous conduct contributed to the joy we`re seeing here today?

DARYL GOLDBERG, ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: Perhaps. I think that the community has an obvious sense of what`s appropriate. And I think that it may have only stemmed from the intense media coverage at the very beginning of all this.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: A lot of people are saying that the defense dropped the ball by calling a witness who is a defense attorney who said that Stacy Peterson basically approached him and said, "Hey, my husband killed his last wife." That came out as part of the defense case. Was that like the interception of the century?

GOLDBERG: Well, we won`t know, I guess, until we hear from the jurors. But I stand by the decision of the team in this case. I wasn`t even there for it. I was down the hall speaking to Dr. Baden, preparing for part of my role in the case. I think there was a reason for it. And I`ll stand behind it.

Whether it`s the right call or not --

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let me bring in Holly Hughes, criminal defense attorney. I got to bring in Holly Hughes because there are very tiny moments that can change the course of a trial. One or two words can be bombshells.

This was the jaw-dropper. Basically the prosecution already presented their case. A lot of people thought, well, they don`t have the forensics, they don`t have the CSI. They don`t have the hairs and the DNA and the fingerprints. But, boom, all of a sudden in the defense case this attorney gets up and says, yes, Stacy Peterson, she came up to me and she was talking. She was very upset and said yes, my husband killed his last wife. I mean wasn`t that just a bungling by the defense?

HOLLY HUGHES, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Not necessarily, Jane. It comes across that way.

But here`s what happened. You have an entire team of good competent lawyers on the defense side. They sat down. They had a strategy discussion. And what they did was a balancing test. They said, look, it`s a possibility that this bombshell`s going to come out. But there`s something else that we need from him that we think is equally or more important.

And a lot of times -- and I know this sounds crazy to people, but you can prepare a witness. You can interview a witness, Jane, four or five times; put them through the paces. What is it you can testify to? They will get on the stand, even an attorney, and say something that you have never heard before. The genius here is when the prosecution turned that witness, went after them on cross and really sort of re-stated the obvious for the jury and re-rang that bell as it were.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: But I got to bring in Beth Karas. I heard there was a whole bunch of argument amongst the members of the defense team -- don`t do it, don`t put this guy on, you`re risking exactly what happened.

BETH KARAS, CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": Well, we don`t have the details of whether there was real dissension except what the "Chicago Tribune" printed the day after because they overheard Steve Greenberg and Joel Brodsky having a heated discussion in the hall. And what the paper reported was that Steve Greenberg said to Joel I filed 74 or we filed 74 and there`s an expletive, motions to keep this stuff out and you`re going to undo it all now. Don`t do it. Something like that.

But Joel Brodsky was the lead attorney. He`s been Drew Peterson`s attorney for a very long time. He`s the one who assembled this team. And ultimately it looks like it was Joel`s decision. And maybe he told Drew what the risks were and Peterson was like, well, you`re the lawyer, go ahead. I`m assuming that part.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I do believe that these trials are so, so difficult. And again, I`m not trying to stick it to the defense. They did as good a job as they could. It`s very, very hard to do a story -- to do a case like this because these mega-trials are runaway freight trains. You never know what`s going to happen from one minute to the next. Always, everyday there is a bombshell, there`s a huge battle inside court.

On the other side of the break we`re going to talk to a man who interviewed Drew Peterson at length. And he`s going to tell us what Drew Peterson is likely feeling right now as he sits behind bars.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Former cop, Drew Peterson, guilty; and the reaction extraordinary provoked singing outside court. That`s how happy the people are -- joy in Joliet. He`s going to be sentenced right around Thanksgiving.

And on the other side we`re going to talk to a man who interviewed Drew Peterson. What is Drew going through right now behind bars?

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SUE DOMAN, SISTER OF KATHLEEN SAVIO: My sister cried out for help and she spoke from the grave. And, I mean she -- I mean there`s just so much that they didn`t know. The pain that she went through, the black eye; you know, it got to be at the point where she was lying to me, wasn`t telling me things. And the marks on her; and she was always, always had a mark on her.

When that black eye came, I knew it was coming. Something was going to happen. She had to get out of there or something.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Why didn`t she leave him sooner?

DOMAN: Because she wanted to take care of the children. He threatened her and said that wherever she went he would find her. And he would give her enough that she would be poor on the streets and her children would be taken away.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: At the end of the day this is about domestic violence. Police were called to the Savio home 18 times because of domestic incidents involving Drew and Kathleen who was ultimately murdered. And, tonight, Drew Peterson convicted of that murder.

I want to go to Jon Leiberman, HLN contributor -- you interviewed Drew Peterson in 2007. His arrogance and his immaturity has really sort of sparked so much of the rage that people experience and the frustration. You know him. What do you think he`s going through tonight after he lost in court and is looking at perhaps the rest of his natural life behind bars?

JON LEIBERMAN, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: I`ll tell you, Jane, two things about this whole case stick out to me. One was when I called him on his cell phone in 2007 -- a source gave me the number -- and he just acted so nonchalant. He wasn`t charged with anything at that point. But he basically told me, oh, Stacy`s going to come home when she`s ready.

We talked for about eight to ten minutes. And I could just tell during that phone call that something was off about this guy. Now he`s been in jail for three years or so in solitary confinement and this is a guy who loves attention. He loves doing whatever he can to grab a headline.

So he must be going through torture in there. Not to mention the fact that he`s looking at 20 to 60 years behind bars at his sentencing later on in November. And I need to tell you this Jane -- it appears that prosecutors at the sentencing will bring up Stacy Peterson`s disappearance.

So once again ironically Stacy Peterson will actually be able to speak and have something to do with Drew Peterson`s sentence just like she spoke through hearsay witnesses during the trial and had a major part of getting him convicted.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I want to go to Judge Stephen White, former Peterson trial judge and HLN contributor -- again, my apologies, sir. We`ve had a lot of family members who wanted to speak. We of course put them first.

JUDGE STEPHEN WHITE, HLN CONTRIBUTOR: That`s all right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: The sentencing is November 26th. He faces 60 years in prison. He`s 58 years old. So essentially it would be a life sentence on a practical matter. But so many times we see 60 years become a lot less. What do you think is going to happen?

WHITE: Well, they`ll have a hearing. And the state does have the opportunity to put on evidence as to Stacy`s murder. If they do that and use that in aggravation, that could enhance the penalty because the judge can consider anything in aggravation or mitigation on behalf of Drew Peterson for the sentence.

There`s a minimum of 20, a maximum of 60. There is no day-for-day good time so it`s 100 percent. Say he got sentenced for 30 years, he must serve the full 30 years. And it could be anywhere in between.

The fact that this was committed while he was a police officer is going to be -- you know, that will be held against him. That`s probably going to cost him his pension and his kids` livelihood for that because he was an officer at the time of the murder. So the defense may try to bring that in as mitigation, but the fact that he committed the murder while he was a police officer, that certainly can be used in aggravation to get a higher sentence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. I always wonder why it has to take so long for sentencing. I mean why does it have to be November 26th? It`s frustrating to me that the wheels of justice don`t turn a little faster.

Let`s go out to the phone lines. Lakisha, Indiana -- again, patient - - your question or thought, Lakisha?

LAKISHA, INDIANA (via telephone): Yes.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hi. What`s your question or thought?

LAKISHA: Can you hear me?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I can. Go for it.

LAKISHA: Jane.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes, I can hear you. Give us your thought.

LAKISHA: Ok, yes. I got a comment and a question. My comment is that I thank God and Kathleen`s family thank God and Stacy too, that they finally got justice. We know Stacy isn`t coming back. And Kathleen deserved justice.

And this is my question. What do you think that they`re going to charge him with? How many years? Like 20 years? 30 years? Or 60 years? Since the guy said that on the panel.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, we`re going to explore --

LAKISHA: Do you think he`ll be eligible for parole or not?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to continue to explore how much time. But he faces up to 60 years in prison. He`s 58 years old, so it could essentially be a life sentence; never to see the light of day again.

More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Drew Peterson guilty in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. Now, even though they didn`t have a lot of forensics, no CSI -- the circumstantial evidence, the motive, the history of domestic violence, overwhelming.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARCIA SAVIO, KATHLEEN SAVIO`S MOTHER: Finally, somebody heard Kathleen`s cry -- 12 people did the right thing, thank God. Now we`re going to see her and let her know we love her and she won today in our victory. And all the lawyers can smoke cigars downstairs with the red man in the red suit. (inaudible)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ex-cop Drew Peterson guilty in the murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. That was the victim`s -- Kathleen Savio`s mother; joyous outside court, victorious.

But what about Stacy Peterson, Drew Peterson`s fourth wife who vanished and is presumed dead? Jeff Gold, criminal defense attorney, we`re hearing rumbles now that an indictment could be coming down in her disappearance. How do they deal with that if there`s no body?

JEFF GOLD, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Yes, right. We call it the corpus delicti. It could be something other than the body itself, like somebody seeing the body being pushed over, you know, into the canal or something. But you know what? I don`t think they`re going to do that any time soon.

What I think may happen now is Drew is locked up and he had a way of controlling people like Tom Morphey; like Pachek in this case. These people that he could control, it may be that now that he`s locked up forever, somebody is going to come out of the woodwork that will give a little extra push to Stacy`s case. But without that I don`t think they need it.

I think you hit it on the head before. They`re going to use this as an aggravating factor at the sentence. They`re going to give him his due. He`s going to be in prison for the rest of his life. They don`t need to do Stacy`s case unless there`s a little bit more evidence.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, they do it for Stacy Peterson`s family. That family needs closure and it`s not just about keeping him behind bars. It`s about justice, and being told that, "Hey, we got justice." So there`s still work to do.

More on the other side.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NICK SAVIO: I`ll never have my sister again. I still have to go see her at the cemetery. But, at least I know that she got justice at the hands of that cold-blooded killer up there. The Savio family is so thankful that this day has finally come. And that Kathleen has finally received justice. It has been for a very long time in coming.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Family members of victim Kathleen Savio, joyous, emotional, crying. People are singing outside court. Boy, we have waited so long. I was talking to somebody yesterday who said "I was in high school when Kathleen Savio slipped in the tub."

Mike Brooks, HLN law enforcement analyst, again patient for -- sitting through all this. What`s the take away here?

MIKE BROOKS, HLN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: The take away is there was justice for Kathleen Savio today. You saw her baby brother Nick there, just full of emotion. They were very, very measured during the whole trial. But now just a flood of emotion of what these people have been going through for years, Jane.

There`s justice for Kathleen Savio. We hope to get justice for Stacy Peterson.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Holly Hughes, for me it boils down to domestic violence. If you`re called 18 times to somebody`s home, there`s a big problem.

We are out of time, but I have to say that this is a victory for all women, all women, particularly who have suffered domestic violence. You are being taken seriously and you will ultimately get justice, too.

Nancy`s next.

END