published Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Drew Peterson murder trial under way in Illinois

In this May 7, 2009 file booking photo provided by the Will County Sheriff's office in Joliet, Ill., former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson is shown. Peterson is charged with first-degree murder in the 2004 drowning death of his former wife Kathleen Savio. Opening statements in his trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Will County Sheriff's Office, File)
In this May 7, 2009 file booking photo provided by the Will County Sheriff's office in Joliet, Ill., former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson is shown. Peterson is charged with first-degree murder in the 2004 drowning death of his former wife Kathleen Savio. Opening statements in his trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday, July 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Will County Sheriff's Office, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

By MICHAEL TARM and DON BABWIN

JOLIET, Ill. — The judge presiding over former Illinois police officer Drew Peterson’s murder trial has denied a defense request to declare a mistrial over something the head prosecutor said during his opening statement.

Judge Edward Burmila briefly sent jurors from the Joliet courtroom while attorneys argued whether lead prosecutor James Glasgow’s mention of $25,000 that the former Bolingbrook officer allegedly offered a hit man to kill his third wife, Kathleen Savio, warranted a mistrial.

Burmila says it didn’t because Glasgow didn’t say the money was offered to a hit man or that it was allegedly meant as payment to kill Savio.

Peterson is charged with first-degree murder in Savio’s 2004 drowning death. He is suspected but not charged in the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

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