Founded in 2010

News & Entertainment for Mason City, Clear Lake & the Entire North Iowa Region

Sister of woman who drowned testifies in Drew Peterson case

By Matthew Walberg and Steve Schmadeke, Chicago Tribune –

CHICAGO — Kathleen Savio’s sister glared at Drew Peterson from the witness stand Friday. Later, her face and voice tightened as she recalled learning from Peterson that her sister was dead.

But in sharing a conversation she had with Savio just six weeks before her drowning, Anna Marie Doman spoke calmly and without emotion, like someone who had told the story time and again.

“She was afraid,” Doman said. “She said Drew had told her he was going to kill her. She wasn’t going to make it to the divorce settlement, and she wasn’t going to get his pension or the kids.”

After two years of court battles over the issue, it was the first hearsay statement heard by jurors in Peterson’s murder trial, allowing Savio to speak from beyond the grave.

As she described talking with Savio in her Romeoville, Ill., home in 2004, Doman testified that Savio extracted a promise to take care of her kids, a vow Doman acknowledged she had failed to act on.

“She made me promise over and over that I was going to take care of the boys,” Doman said. “She said, ‘I want you to say it — you’ll take care of my kids.’”

After a misstep by a defense attorney, Doman also was allowed to testify about a previously excluded statement — that Peterson had told Savio he would kill her and make it look like an accident.

“She has said that on many occasions,” Doman said.

Under questioning by the defense, Doman acknowledged that she never contacted authorities about Savio’s fears that Drew would kill her.

After her testimony, Doman told a Chicago Tribune reporter that it felt good to finally take the stand and tell her younger sister’s story.

“I’ve been waiting for this for years,” she said. “I wish I could have said more. … But I just want justice; I just want all of this to be over.”

She also acknowledged glaring at Peterson when she was asked to identify him in court.

“I looked at him a little bit, yeah. He is where he should be. The man murdered my sister. He is where he should be.”

Savio’s 2004 death was originally considered an accident, but it was reinvestigated and declared a homicide after Peterson’s fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, vanished in 2007. Prosecutors believe Stacy Peterson was also murdered by Drew Peterson, but he has not been charged.

Judge Edward Burmila did not allow Doman to mention Stacy Peterson’s name, or testify about statements she said she heard Drew Peterson make not long after Savio’s death.

The rulings irritated Pamela Bosco, a spokeswoman for Stacy Peterson’s family who has attended each day of the trial.

“It’s frustrating, it’s dumbfounding and obscene the way this trial appears to be one-sided right now,” Bosco said.

“You see Stacy’s face in the beginning but you can’t mention her the rest of the trial?” said Bosco, referring to a picture of Stacy Peterson shown to jurors earlier in the week. “How can a jury realistically put a case together … if half the information is provided to them?”

The day after Savio’s body was found, her family gathered at her home to look for her will. Peterson began pounding on the door of her home, then rushed upstairs and began stuffing items into a clothes basket, Doman testified.

Peterson snatched $100 from Savio’s purse and said “this belongs to the kids,” Doman testified. She also said she found Peterson cleaning up the tub where Savio died a day after police left, telling her, “I don’t want the kids to see the blood.”

But Burmila stopped Doman before she could testify about a remark she said she heard Peterson make inside Savio’s garage.

At a pretrial hearing, Doman testified that she heard Peterson say, “Morelli. I got it.”

Peterson spoke with his former Bolingbrook, Ill., police partner Alex Morelli at about that time, phone records show. Prosecutors have previously suggested Peterson may have taken Savio’s will or some incriminating evidence.

The trial was halted early Friday to give a sick juror time to recover. Testimony is scheduled to resume Tuesday.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Even more news:

Copyright 2024 – Internet Marketing Pros. of Iowa, Inc.
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x