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NANCY GRACE

Drew Peterson Guilty

Aired September 6, 2012 - 20:00   ET

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


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson guilty in the first degree murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Finally, somebody heard Kathleen`s cry!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kathy and Stacy and the likes of them who are constantly under the hands of abusers like Drew Peterson, have had their day today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) battered women.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Falsely accused of a homicide that didn`t happen (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I don`t see you laughing now.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Twelve people did the right thing! Oh, thank God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) rotting in jail for the rest of your damn life!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) sister again (ph). I still have to go see her at the cemetery, but at least I know that she got justice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) victory!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was found dead in the bathtub in her home, with almost no water.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have to have faith in the jury system.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) a murder from day one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You had neighbors go into the house and they found her dead in the bathtub.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She was naked and the bathtub was dry.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Drew, you looking forward to your day in court?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have no idea what anybody`s talking about like that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Warm to the touch.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We realize that Kathleen and Stacy had one common denominator. That was Drew Peterson.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: His second, third, fourth wives all said he was controlling, abusive, feared for their lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This can only be designed for -- to send me some sort of a message.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s designed just to harass me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I do not believe that Sergeant Peterson can receive a fair trial anywhere in the United States.

(CROSSTALK)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HOST: Good evening. I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us.

Breaking news. In the last hours, the jury hands down a verdict in the trial of husband/cop Drew Peterson in the drowning death of wife number three, Kathleen Savio found brutally beaten, drowned to death in a bone-dry bathtub. Drew Peterson guilty!

We are live at the courthouse and taking your calls. Straight out to Michael Christian, senior field producer, "In Session," there at the courthouse from the get-go. Michael Christian, what happened in the courtroom when that verdict was read? Was the jury looking at Peterson? Was he looking at them? What happened?

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SENIOR FIELD PRODUCER, "IN SESSION": That`s exactly right, Nancy. This jury was out for just under 14 hours. They knocked on the door, sent out a note saying they had a verdict. They were brought into the courtroom. Drew Peterson stood as the verdict was read.

Now, he did not show any emotion at that time. One of the other reporters I was with referred to him as stone-faced. But as the jurors were polled, he looked at each of them as they affirmed that, yes, indeed, he was guilty of murdering Kathleen Savio.

GRACE: When the verdict was read, number one, did the jury. the foreperson read the verdict, or did the clerk or somebody else read the verdict? And when the verdict was read, was Peterson looking that jury in the eye? Were they looking at him, or were they kind of, like, looking down and shuffling and looking away? What happened?

CHRISTIAN: I believe they were looking at him. The judge actually read the verdict. The foreperson came in, handed a note to the bailiff. The note was handed up to the judge, and the judge, Judge Edward Burmila, is actually the one who read this verdict.

GRACE: We are taking your calls. We are live at the courthouse. Joining me there, Michael Christian, Beth Karas and Michelle Sigona (ph).

Out to the lines. Rachel, New York. Hi, Rachel. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: What`s your question, dear?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I was just wondering if they`re able to get Drew Peterson`s cell phone records from 2007, and maybe we can follow the cell phone pings to Stacy (INAUDIBLE) at least narrow down a search.

GRACE: You know what? Good question. Michael Christian, let`s talk for a moment about Stacy Peterson because that`s what Rachel in New York is talking about, the pings from cells phone in 2007. She`s talking about wife number four, who went missing, who has never been seen again, wife number four, who the defense actually put on their witness list. And we`re going to be joined tonight by Joe Lopez, the defense attorney for Drew Peterson. They actually put her on the witness list. We all know she`s dead and we all know he killed her, number one.

But number two, she played prominently in this case. Michelle Sigona, Michael Christian, Beth Karas with us. Michael, why is it that wife number, who`s never been seen again, played so prominently in this trial?

CHRISTIAN: Well, her hearsay testimony was so important in this trial, Nancy, as you say. The investigation into her death is ongoing. That certainly has not been closed, and it is possible at some point that there could be an indictment against Drew Peterson for murdering Stacy.

But it`s fascinating because in real life, these women were certainly not friends. They -- I don`t know if you`d use the word "enemies," but there was jealousy there. I mean, Stacy took Drew`s husband (SIC) away from Kathy. They did not like each other.

And yet they united, in a sense, in this trial. I don`t think that Drew Peterson could have been convicted without evidence from both of those women.

GRACE: Wait. Hold on. Christian, what do you mean they united?

CHRISTIAN: So his two wives...

GRACE: They`re both dead.

CHRISTIAN: ... are the ones who put him...

GRACE: How did they unite?

CHRISTIAN: They both...

GRACE: They`re both dead.

CHRISTIAN: ... had half of the evidence -- because half of the evidence that convicted him came from Kathleen and half of the evidence, the hearsay, came from Stacy. So in a way, those women have united to convict this man, this husband.

GRACE: You are taking a look at shots of Stacy Peterson and Kathleen Savio. In the last hours, a jury brings home a verdict in the trial against husband/cop Drew Peterson, Drew Peterson famously playing "Get a date with Drew," blaming everyone around him. The big defense was everybody was lying but him.

And the reality -- joining me, special guest Joe Lopez, defense attorney for Drew Peterson. He delivered the closing argument. The fact that you guys claimed throughout that everybody else was lying -- and I`m referring to Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson -- why do you say those two ladies were lying? What`s in it for them to lie?

JOE LOPEZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: Well, we have to remember one thing, that Kathy was saying whatever she could about Drew to people besides her best friend and the man that she was in love with. She told things to all these other people, but never mentioned anything to the man that she just about lived with and to her next-door neighbor, who she talked to every day.

So it was our position -- we maintained the position that she was out there trying to dirty up Drew as much as she could. She hated Drew because of the split, with Stacy. They had all kinds of domestic issues for a number of years. You know, in these divorce cases, people say all kinds of things...

GRACE: Well, hold on.

LOPEZ: ... and they`ll talk to whoever will listen.

GRACE: You just opened up a can of worms right there, Joe Lopez. As a matter of fact, when you say they had all sorts of domestic issues, the reality is, is there were incidents where the police were called to the home by Kathleen Savio.

LOPEZ: That`s right. And that`s because Drew brought the kids home late. All she did was complain. She made eight complaints that he brought the children home late. That`s why the police were called to the house, not because of anything he did to her. In fact, the time that she claimed that he did something to her, she waited 13 days to call the police.

So when you say the police came there -- yes, the police did come there, but that was in relation to child visitation issues, not to any domestic issues.

GRACE: You know, Joe Lopez, I asked you the question, What was in it for them, these two dead women, God rest their soul -- what was in it for them to lie about Drew Peterson? What did it -- how did it help them? How did they benefit by these lies you`re accusing them of?

LOPEZ: Well, we can talk about Stacy, number one. Stacy called her divorce attorney, or a divorce attorney, actually, being Kathy`s former divorce attorney, and said, You know, I have this information. I want to use it to extort Drew out of money. So we know that she had a financial...

GRACE: Wa-wait! Wa-wait!

LOPEZ: ... motive in this case...

GRACE: I don`t think...

LOPEZ: ... and Kathy also had...

GRACE: ... that was the testimony, was it?

LOPEZ: ... another motive in this case...

GRACE: No! That was not...

LOPEZ: Well, that was the testimony.

GRACE: ... the testimony!

LOPEZ: It absolutely was.

GRACE: The testimony was...

LOPEZ: Were you there?

GRACE: ... she said, I have...

LOPEZ: I was there. I heard the testimony.

GRACE: ... evidence about...

LOPEZ: No, absolutely wrong.

GRACE: ... Kathleen`s death.

LOPEZ: Wrong.

GRACE: Can I get...

LOPEZ: Wrong.

GRACE: ... a better deal?

LOPEZ: Can I get a better deal, a financial deal. She wanted money, M-O-N-E-Y. She wanted money, and that`s why she was doing it. As far as...

GRACE: OK, hold on.

LOPEZ: ... Ms. Savio is concerned...

GRACE: Wait a minute. Just stop.

LOPEZ: ... she was trying to...

GRACE: Stop.

LOPEZ: ... get an edge up...

GRACE: Stop.

LOPEZ: ... in the divorce itself.

GRACE: Let`s get -- see, I asked you a question, and you go all the way around it. You portrayed her as saying, God rest her soul, Stacy Peterson, how can I extort Drew Peterson? I don`t think those words...

LOPEZ: You have evidence she`s dead? Do you have evidence she`s dead?

GRACE: ... were ever said...

LOPEZ: Why do people keep saying she`s dead?

GRACE: ... in the courtroom. So to you, Ellie Jostad...

LOPEZ: Nobody said she was dead in the courtroom.

GRACE: ... did it ever come out on the stand that Stacy Peterson ever said the words, "I want to extort Drew Peterson"?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE PRODUCER: Well, Nancy, that actually -- what came out in testimony is the attorney, Harry Smith, was asked, You warned Stacy Peterson she needed to be careful. Was it because you thought she would be arrested for extortion? And he said, No, I thought she would be arrested for concealing a homicide.

GRACE: So what Lopez, the -- can I see Joe Lopez, Liz? That`s who we`re talking about!

LOPEZ: I`m right here.

GRACE: As you were talking...

LOPEZ: I`m right here.

GRACE: Let`s put Ellie up. She`s recounting...

LOPEZ: Harry Smith was wrong. He doesn`t even...

GRACE: ... the evidence...

LOPEZ: ... know the elements of concealment of a homicide. He was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect.

GRACE: Joe Lopez...

LOPEZ: There was no way...

GRACE: Joe...

LOPEZ: ... she was concealing a homicide.

GRACE: OK, I guess I`m going to have to...

LOPEZ: Yes?

GRACE: ... cut his mike. Joe, I asked you what benefit was it for these ladies to lie? And you just said -- I can play it back -- that Stacy Peterson said she wanted to extort Drew Peterson. That was never said in court. Those words were never said!

LOPEZ: I didn`t say those were the words. You asked me why...

GRACE: Yes, you did!

LOPEZ: ... and that was to extort Drew Peterson. She wanted to...

GRACE: Yes, you -- you just said that!

LOPEZ: I did not. You are -- you are mischaracterizing the evidence. What she said to him, Can I use this information to get financial money out of him? And that`s the same thing as extortion. It`s the same thing as, I will say this unless he pays me. That`s extortion.

GRACE: Let`s go out to Beth Karas...

LOPEZ: And as far as Kathy`s concerned...

GRACE: ... joining me from "In Session."

LOPEZ: ... you have to remember...

GRACE: Beth...

LOPEZ: Nancy, you have to remember...

GRACE: ... what was the testimony?

LOPEZ: ... one thing...

BETH KARAS, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, "IN SESSION": OK, so Nancy, actually, Harry Smith, the divorce testimony, gave testimony a few times. At trial, he admitted that the word "extortion" was never used. It was for leverage. She wanted to use it for leverage. Can I get more out of Drew, basically, if I tell how he killed Kathy? That`s how he said it in the past.

But at trial, he said, Drew told me he killed Kathy, how can I use it against him? So different versions of it. But he said absolutely the point was she wanted to extort money. And so when Joel Brodsky said, You, you know, cautioned her about this because she could be arrested for extortion, he said, No, she`d be arrested for concealing a homicide. So Stacy didn`t utter the word "extortion," but that`s what it was about.

GRACE: OK, Beth Karas, let me ask you another question. Since we have now established Stacy Peterson never said the words, How can I extort money out of Drew Peterson -- Beth Karas, how long was it after she told her divorce lawyer, How can I get a better settlement if I bring up or I give the details of Kathleen Savio`s murder -- how long was it after that that Stacy Peterson went missing, never seen again?

KARAS: Well, I talked to Harry Smith. He said two days because he said she left him a message four days before she disappeared. She disappeared October 28th. She called the lawyer October 24th. He said he talked to her a day or two after.

After his testimony, after the evidence was closed, I saw Harry Smith in the all and I said, When was it? And he said, I think it was the 26th. It was two days before she disappeared. That was it.

GRACE: OK, Lopez, as you know, in criminal law, there is no such thing as coincidence. So she says, Can I use the fact of Kathleen Savio`s murder, that my husband, Drew Peterson, murdered his third wife -- can I use that to get a better divorce deal? In two days, she`s gone. You think that`s a coincidence?

LOPEZ: Maybe she left him. Maybe she left him. There`s no evidence she`s dead. Who has evidence that she`s dead? Nobody.

GRACE: Your client. Your client.

LOPEZ: Well, I don`t know what my client has. I don`t ask my clients to confess...

GRACE: Hey, why did you guys...

LOPEZ: ... like all these other paid (ph) lawyers do.

GRACE: Why did the defense bring in her divorce lawyer? Because that`s how all the evidence came in, is through her divorce lawyer. Why did you put him on the stand?

LOPEZ: Well, the divorce lawyer was only one part of it. You have to remember...

GRACE: Yes, why did you...

LOPEZ: ... Reverend Shorey (ph)...

GRACE: ... put him on the stand?

LOPEZ: ... said the same thing...

GRACE: That`s my question.

LOPEZ: Well, I`ll answer it to you. If you let me answer it, I`ll tell you right now -- to bring out the fact that she wanted to use what she claimed this information was to get leverage in the divorce, not because she wanted to help the Savio family, because she wanted to line her own purse. That`s why it was brought out because you have to remember this is a hearsay case.

We drafted the first instruction in the state of Illinois on hearsay that`s ever been given. And in the hearsay instruction itself, it said that you have to look at the credibility of the certer (ph). You know what that means. You know what that means. So in order to argue that she is not a credible person...

GRACE: Well, apparently, a jury disagreed. In the last hours, this man, husband/cop Drew Peterson, found guilty in the murder of wife number three. Wife number four, she`s still missing.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: What do you claim she hit her head on?

JOEL BRODSKY, DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR DREW PETERSON: Well, I -- actually, I wasn`t in the bathroom, but the experts are saying she hit her head on the bathtub, on the side of the bathtub, and that the fall was sufficient force to cause unconsciousness.

GRACE: So where you`re saying...

BRODSKY: And that she drowned.

GRACE: ... she hit her head at that location, was there blood?

BRODSKY: There`s no transfer -- as you know from being a prosecutor, you know, that concept, what they call first hit free (ph) -- there`s no transfer on the initial hit. It only gets blood splatter at transfer on a subsequent hit. So...

GRACE: So was there blood -- was there blood spatter?

BRODSKY: No. There was only one...

GRACE: So you`re saying...

BRODSKY: ... strike (ph), one...

GRACE: ... she hit her head on the bathtub...

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: ... but there`s no blood there.

BRODSKY: Right, because there was only one hit, one time. She slipped, she hit her head hard, got unconscious and drowned.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GRACE: In the last hours, the jury brings home a verdict. They didn`t buy that story any more than I did when I was questioning defense attorney Joel Brodsky.

With me tonight, Drew Peterson, husband/cop Drew Peterson, now convicted felon -- his other lawyer, Joe Lopez, is with us. He delivered the closing arguments to that jury. Again, In the last hours, the jury hands down a verdict of guilty.

Joe Lopez, let me ask you to clarify. A lot of our viewers didn`t understand what Brodsky was saying about the death of Savio, how she died, how she managed to hit an object -- what was it, a soap dish? What was it the defense claimed she hit her head on?

LOPEZ: Well, Dr. Dimaio (ph) testified that when she stood up in the tub, she slipped, she fell back, and because of the curvature of the tub, her head impacted on the back of the -- on -- on the part of the tub there. She lost consciousness momentarily. She slipped under the water. She inhaled the water and she passed away.

GRACE: I`m asking you about where she hit her head. So you`re saying she actually hit her head...

LOPEZ: I just told you.

GRACE: ... on the side of the tub?

LOPEZ: On the -- on the -- on the surface itself. There were books and treatises that were brought to court and used by the experts that talk about hard surfaces...

GRACE: Did she hit her head on the tub?

LOPEZ: ... when you hit a hard surface...

GRACE: That`s what I`m asking you, on the side of the tub.

LOPEZ: On the tub. I just told you, on the curvature...

GRACE: And there was...

LOPEZ: No, on the curvature of the tub.

GRACE: ... no blood on that spot?

LOPEZ: There is no blood on that spot. You heard Mr. Brodsky said -- even the prosecution experts agreed with that, that the -- she only hit her head one time, so there would be no blood splatter. They found her hair was matted with the blood because when she hit, the impact -- it -- it was kind of, like, explained, like, when you cut your finger and it doesn`t bleed for about 10, 15 seconds, that that`s what happened in this case. And any blood that came out...

GRACE: OK, got it.

LOPEZ: ... there would be no transfer. There was no opportunity...

GRACE: I understand.

LOPEZ: ... for transfer.

GRACE: I understand. All I asked you was what surface did she hit her head on, according to the defense.

Debbie in New York. Hi, Debbie. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, Nancy. It`s so great to talk to you.

GRACE: Likewise, friend.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Nancy, 14 months ago, I was so disheartened with the judicial system. Today I am elated. But I have something to say. Everybody wants to know where Stacy Peterson is. I`ve heard mention that he had access to a plane or has a plane. So the blue bucket that she`s in, the blue barrel, is in the bottom of the ocean.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: We are taking your calls. In the last hours, a jury hands down a verdict. Drew Peterson is guilty in the death of his third wife.

And joining me right now, Kathleen Savio`s sister, special guest Sue Savio Doman. Sue, thank you for being with us.

SUE SAVIO DOMAN, KATHLEEN`S SISTER: Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: As you are hearing even now, the defense attorney still spouting off the same BS he had in his closing argument. Does it make your blood boil, or are you now satisfied with the verdict?

DOMAN: You know, Nancy, I`m very satisfied with the verdict. But I`m also very angry that the defense keeps going on with the lies that they are continuing. You know, at the closing arguments, Mr. Lopez had said, Look at the briefcase, there`s nothing in it.

Well, Nancy, there was a whole lot of stuff in there that my sister kept of the abuse that was going on with Drew. She has hospital reports. The doctor says clearly on there that she says that she was hit by her husband. She didn`t go to the emergency room for nothing.

GRACE: You know...

DOMAN: So they`re lying again.

GRACE: ... what`s amazing to me, Sue, is even now, his defenders still say that never happened, when there`s clear evidence she was beaten by him in the past.

DOMAN: Exactly. Exactly. And you know, it angers me. I believe that there is a defense attorney and there is a defense attorney. And this defense team is full of garbage because they couldn`t even get theirself together.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Fantastic!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Drew Peterson guilty in the first degree murder of his third wife, Kathleen Savio.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Finally, somebody heard Kathleen`s cry!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kathy and Stacy and the likes of them who are constantly under the hands of abusers like Drew Peterson, have had their day today.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NANCY GRACE, HLN HOST: We are live and taking your calls. Joining us, our reporters there at the courthouse, Beth Karas, Michael Christian, Michelle Sigona, as well as members of the family of Kathleen Savio, and one of the lead defense attorneys who defended him and delivered the closing argument, Joe Lopez.

With me right now, a special guest, Kyle Toutges. This is Stacy`s uncle. He was barred from testifying.

Sir, thank you for being with us. If you could have testified, what would you have told the jury?

KYLE TOUTGES, STATE PETERSON`S UNCLE: That I witnessed Drew saying that, "Let them prove it." There was a conversation in the garage where some friends were telling him that it really looked bad for him, for his ex-wife to die at this specific time when they were going through this divorce and that it really looked suspicious. His comment was, "Let them prove it." Was his comment.

GRACE: And how did that strike you, sir?

TOUTGES: Very chilling. I mean, it really was chilling to hear him say that. And later on that evening, he told me that Kathleen was a drug addict, alcoholic, and that`s why she slipped and fell and drowned in a bathtub. And later to find out she was totally drug and alcohol free, you know, after Stacy went missing that we find this out.

GRACE: To Michelle Sigona, joining us, reporting for "In Session" there at the courthouse.

Michelle, thanks for being was. Michelle, a lot of controversy surrounding hearsay evidence that was brought in, that played a big role in convicting Drew Peterson. I think the pastor`s testimony was the strongest testimony, that and her divorce attorney, and the defense is the one that brought in the divorce attorney. Ouch. But give me a nutshell of the pastor`s testimony, Michelle.

MICHELLE SIGONA, REPORTING FOR IN SESSION: Well, between the pastor and also Harry Smith, who was the attorney for Kathleen, when they came in, those things were really described as game changers. I was not here on the ground at that time, back to the city, left to Michael what they would hear on those days so they could probably answer it a lot better.

But they were described as game changers as really it went into the prosecution`s favor from what was coming out of the testimony and out of their mouths and into the courtroom.

GRACE: Beth Karas, you were in the courtroom. What was the testimony of the preacher?

BETH KARAS, LEGAL CORRESPONDENT, IN SESSION: He described a conversation with Stacy two months before Stacy went missing. She said she wanted to talk to him. Oh, I have stuff that hasn`t been reported either, at least at this trial, of that conversation. They were at a Starbucks, outdoors. He met outdoors with her. She was upset. He described how she pulled her knee up and was crying and told him what happened the night Savio died.

They went to bed together, she and Drew, she woke up in the middle of the night. He wasn`t there. She called him, she couldn`t find him. He comes home in the wee morning hours dressed in black, carrying a bag that had women`s clothes in it. He puts the clothes from that bag in the washing machine, takes his own clothes off, put them in the washing machine. She looked in the washer, there are women`s clothes not her own.

This is the night Savio died. She did not know at the time Kathleen Savio was dead. And Drew Peterson then told her that the police were going to want to talk to her and he coached her for hours and she admitted that she lied to the police about his whereabouts that night.

Here`s what the jury doesn`t know, but it came out at a hearing because I did confirm this with the prosecutors after. During that meeting at Starbucks, which was on August 31st, 2007, two months before she went missing, a Bowling Brook patrol car was circling Starbucks. That was on all likelihood Drew Peterson.

Drew Peterson knew Pastor Schori because they had gone to counseling with him in the past. Right after the meeting and after the patrol car circling Starbucks, Drew Peterson calls Schori and says, oh, I see. I know you`ve met my wife, or I see you`ve met my wife. He then invited Schori to take a ride with him in his light aircraft. He has a -- like a little airplane that wasn`t really a plane kind of like a glide or a light aircraft.

Pastor Schori respectfully declined. And it only makes one wonder, I mean things are closing in on Drew Peterson. Stacy wants a divorce. She`s got the biggest hammer to hit him with, knowing what he did to Kathleen and the details. She`s now telling a pastor. We know she tells the divorce lawyer because two days before she disappears, he sees the meeting, he immediately invites Pastor Schori up in his airplane. What was he going to do? Unfasten him and drop him to the ground?

GRACE: You know, Michael Christian, also joining me along with Sigona and Karas. We just heard the defense attorney Joe Lopez -- and Lopez, I`m coming back to you -- saying the only reason that Stacy Peterson said all of the stuff about Kathleen Savio`s murder at the hands of her husband, Drew Peterson, was for her own financial gain.

But Michael, what was in it for her to tell her preacher? How was that going to line her pocket?

MICHAEL CHRISTIAN, SENIOR FIELD PRODUCER, IN SESSION: Yes. Well, you know, she supposedly was so upset when she talked to him, as he testified. And you know he talked a little while ago here, Nancy, and he said that he was honored to testify in this trial because he was honored to let Stacy Peterson speak through him. He said he was very happy with this verdict. He said he does own a television, now he followed it on Twitter, but he was honored to let Stacy Peterson speak through him at this trial.

GRACE: Unleash the lawyers. Also joining us tonight, Eleanor Odom, death penalty qualified prosecutor, and out of Atlanta, Peter Odom, defense attorney.

You know, Eleanor Odom, there`s nothing like bringing a preacher and putting them on the stand, is there?

ELEANOR ODOM, FELONY PROSECUTOR, DEATH PENALTY QUALIFIED: No. That`s one of the best witnesses you can bring on, Nancy, because people tend to believe the preachers. And besides, what reason would he have to lie in this case? He`s getting nothing out of it.

And Nancy, think about this hearsay. You know why it -- why it came in? It`s called forfeiture by wrongdoing. Drew Peterson`s wrongdoing by killing the person so that she couldn`t come to court and testify. That`s why it`s important.

GRACE: Peter Odom?

PETER ODOM, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: The problem is, Nancy, that they never established he killed Stacy Peterson. I know that`s mere speculation. The problem with this verdict is that while everyone is so happy about it, and for good reason, it`s vulnerable. Most of the evidence came in through hearsay. There are very strict rules about hearsay an appellate court is going to have a problem with this in my opinion. I think that judge went way out on a limb in letting some of this stuff and I think that judge knows it.

GRACE: Well, as you know, Peter Odom, as you and Eleanor know, there was legislation passed in that jurisdiction that allows this type of hearsay in. We all know that there are dozens of exceptions to the hearsay rule. This is just another one of them.

P. ODOM: But Nancy --

GRACE: The Supreme Court, as I was saying, has OK`d multiple exceptions to the hearsay rule and this is going to be another one.

P. ODOM: But, Nancy, the state can`t pass rules that trump the Constitution of the United States.

GRACE: It`s legislation.

P. ODOM: And this is -- no.

GRACE: And just like all the other exceptions, this is going to withstand a review all the way to the Supreme -- but before I get into the legality of it, Lopez, explain to me, you said Stacy Peterson lied about Drew Peterson to profit. How was telling her preacher this going to line her pocket?

I`m just glad the preacher did not go up in that plane with Drew Peterson. But how is this going to make Stacy Peterson any money to sit in a Starbucks and outline the night that Savio was murdered?

JOE LOPEZ, DREW PETERSON`S DEFENSE ATTORNEY, GAVE CLOSING ARGUMENTS: Well, it was really just started the campaign of rumors to get it going as soon as she could get it going, she told the preacher --

(CROSSTALK)

GRACE: You know the pastor couldn`t repeat that.

LOPEZ: She kept the campaign of rumors. Repeat what? He did repeat what he repeated. And she went to the pastor, hoping he would do something about it. He did nothing about it, so she reached out and called Kathy`s old attorney. And that`s exactly what happened. That`s the reality --

GRACE: But why -- how did it -- how did she benefit by telling the preacher? Your whole theory is blown to bits. I torpedoed it in about 45 seconds. It doesn`t even make any sense, Lopez.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: We are back and taking your calls. In the last hours, the jury hands down a verdict in the case of husband/cop Drew Peterson. In the drowning death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio. His fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, yet to be found.

We are taking your calls. Heidi in Ohio, hi, Heidi, what`s your question?

HEIDI, CALLER FROM OHIO: Hi, Heidi. This is Heidi from Ohio. Thank you. How are you doing?

GRACE: I`m good, dear.

HEIDI: OK, I was wondering, since he committed this crime and has been convicted, can they pull his pension?

GRACE: Oh, good question. Joe Lopez, what is going to happen to his police pension?

LOPEZ: Well, you know, I don`t really know, Nancy. I`m not a pension attorney. So I really can`t say.

GRACE: OK.

LOPEZ: I have no idea.

GRACE: All right. That`s all I wanted to hear. All I want to hear.

Beth Karas, what do you know?

KARAS: Well, Judge White commented on that earlier today and he thinks that he may very well lose his pension because it was committed while he was a police officer. That is what his son, Steven, is living on right now, raising Stacy`s two children.

GRACE: You know what? That`s what I was just going to ask you, where are Stacy`s two children and you answered it, Beth. Thank you.

Sherry in Illinois, hi, Sherry, what`s your question?

SHERRY, CALLER FROM ILLINOIS: Hi, Nancy, thank you for taking my call and all you do. I just have two very quick questions and two very quick comments for you. I still believe that this blue barrel is about -- in the story. And my question, my first question is, did they ever seize that vehicle which the barrel was transported in, have the cadaver dogs go through it?

And I know this might sound very -- very disturbing and everything, but did they ever check any crematories like, you know, pet cemetery crematories? Maybe he did something with the body with that. And last comment I have for you is, I hope somebody will come forward now that he`s locked up, because I think they feared that he might have killed them also for opening their mouth.

GRACE: You know what? I couldn`t agree with you more on that last point.

Beth Karas, do we have answers to any of those questions?

KARAS: I don`t know about the -- whether to check any crematories. I have heard people say he had a friend who had a crematory, but I don`t know that they checked those. They are continuing the search for the blue barrel and they did seize the car. They did -- they did search it. I don`t know the results of any cadaver dogs. I think if they had something, we`d probably would have known about it. But they did look at the car. And gave it back to him eventually. Because when I went to his house, I knocked on his door and talked to his son Steven for half an hour before the trial started. Stacy`s car was still in the driveway and Drew`s.

GRACE: Michelle Sigona reporting for "In Session," back to the courtroom. In the last hours that verdict handed down against Drew Peterson. Describe to me exactly what happened.

SIGONA: Well, I can tell you that I was actually right outside the courtroom. Michael was in the overflow room. Beth was inside. And right as the verdict was coming down, people were cheering, they were chanting, they were singing. They made up songs. There were cameraman all over the grass area. It really became a lot of chaos, but positive chaos. There wasn`t a lot of negative until the defense attorneys came outside and they were shouting, "losers, losers," on and on and on.

But other than that, it was -- it was a lot of positiveness. There was a lot of feeling that justice had been served. That this was domestic violence at its worst and justice at its best.

GRACE: To Dr. Bethany Marshal, psychoanalyst and author. Weigh in, Bethany.

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOANALYST, AUTHOR OF "DEALBREAKERS": Well, I think the fact that Stacy Peterson asked the divorce attorney if she could get money if she spoke up about Kathleen Savio`s murder is extremely valuable when we look at this through the lens of domestic violence.

One of the reasons women who are abuse victims do not leave their husbands and lovers is because they`ve been victims of financial abuse and they cannot support themselves out in the world. And we know that women are at the greatest risk of homicide as they`re about to leave the relationship. Of course she needed money. She needed to support her children.

GRACE: Everybody, we`re taking your calls. We`re live at the courthouse. In the last hours, a verdict has been handed down in a case we`ve been watching from the get-go. A lot of people have wondered will this guilty verdict now lead Drew Peterson to use the only trump card he`s got left, the location of the body of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson?

But what`s in it for him? There is no death penalty in that jurisdiction. So what is there to bargain about?

Back to you, Beth, Michael, Michelle.

Michael, what`s the potential sentence in the murder of Kathleen?

CHRISTIAN: It`s 20 to 60 years, Nancy. And unlike some jurisdictions where that literally is a range and someone is sentenced to the range, in Illinois, you are sentenced to a specific sentence. So it will be somewhere between 20 years and 60 years. It could be 42 years, it could be 53 years. The judge will decide on a sentence. There is no parole in Illinois. It`s day for day time served. So at age 58, pretty much any sentence that Drew Peterson gets is going to be a life sentence.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: A verdict, guilty, Drew Peterson sent to the slammer.

With me, one of his lead defense lawyers, Joe Lopez, he delivered the closing arguments.

Hey, Joe, so does your client have a girlfriend?

LOPEZ: Yes. Well, I don`t know if he`s got a girlfriend, I mean he`s locked up in jail. If he has any girlfriends he`s communicating by mail. They won`t let him see any girls in there that`s for sure.

GRACE: Kyle Toutges is with us. Toutges, excuse me. That`s Stacy Peterson`s uncle, barred from testifying.

Kyle, we all know that he has been communicating with women by letters, before that by the Internet. Saying that there are a lot of women that wanted to marry him. How much does that make you sick?

TOUTGES: It makes me sick that there`s women out there that are that sick. That they can`t see --

GRACE: That`s a good way of putting it.

TOUTGES: -- what a murderer he is now.

GRACE: You know, another thing, Kyle, and I know how it feels when that guilty verdict is announced. What was your immediate reaction?

TOUTGES: I went through like all the emotions at once. I went through it like almost every single one of them. It was happy. There was joy, there was sadness. There was anger and it just -- they just all just flooded so much. It is still like a total shock. It`s really hard to believe that --

GRACE: What did you think when the jury --

TOUTGES: That it finally came true.

GRACE: -- sent out the question that they wanted the definition for unanimous?

TOUTGES: I didn`t recall that. I didn`t -- I was -- I had physical therapy today and I didn`t --

GRACE: You know what I`m so glad you missed that. I`m so glad you missed that. Well, apparently, they understood it at some point because they reached a unanimous verdict of guilty.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

GRACE: Ellie Jostad, I just asked his lawyer did he have girlfriends, did his client have girlfriends, and he says no.

But, Ellie, isn`t it true, he was trying to give away Stacy Peterson`s clothes, her underwear, her bras, her lingerie, her fur coat to some chick he meets behind bars and the woman came forward?

ELLIE JOSTAD, NANCY GRACE CHIEF EDITORIAL PRODUCER: Right. He was writing a woman while he was in jail.

GRACE: All right, Lopez, you know, I hate to be the one to tell you all this.

Hey, Beth Karas, everyone was talking about prosecution blunders. Just because the defense makes an objection, starts screaming in court, that doesn`t mean the prosecution made a blunder. What was everybody talking about?

KARAS: Well, you know, but there were times when, you know, one can argue that both sides maid some errors. And there were times when the judge did chastise the prosecution. This is a long trial and I can`t give you any specific example. But they might have gone into territory -- or a witness started to talk about something that the witness wasn`t supposed to talk about, stuff like that.

GRACE: Well, you know what, just because the defense stands on their heads and screams, that does not a blunder make, according to an appellate court.

Beverly in New York, what`s your question, dear?

BEVERLY, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Hi, Nancy, I wanted to know if they do take Drew Peterson to trial, can they do it without a body?

GRACE: They absolutely can, Beverly in New York. Good question and believe you me, he has gotten rid of that body.

May she rest in peace, Kathleen Savio. But I`ve got a feeling that she won`t until the murder of wife number four, Stacy Peterson, has been vindicated tonight.

A jury brings home a true verdict.

Let`s stop and remember Army Sergeant Brandon Islip, 23, Richmond, Virginia. Bronze Star, Purple Heart, loved helicopters, leaves behind parents, George and Allison, sister, Scarlet, widow, Sonia.

Brandon Islip, American hero.

Thanks to our guests and especially to you for being with us. And happy birthday to twin brothers, Nick and Zack. Nick, the manager of his high school wrestling team, loves music and movie, brother, Zack, loves fishing and hunting.

And happy birthday to New York friend, psychologist, Caryn Stark.

Everybody, Dr. Drew up next. I`ll see you tomorrow night 8:00 sharp Eastern, and until then --

END