02/28/2008 (www.cnn.com) Nancy Grace Show

Drew Peterson Says He’s Mentally Prepared for Trial

Peterson son’s Subpoenad for Grand Jury


PLEASE NOTE: This original official transcript has been (SNIPPED) to include ONLY information discussion on the Stacy Peterson and/or Kathleen Savio case.



Drew Peterson Says He`s Mentally Prepared to Be Put on Trial

Aired February 28, 2008 - 20:00:00 ET


NANCY GRACE, HOST: Tonight, breaking developments in the case of missing 23-year-old mom Stacy Peterson, vanishing from upscale Chicago suburbs, husband/cop Drew Peterson the prime suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance.

Tonight: Peterson breaks his silence on national TV as the defense gears up, claiming the new autopsy is suspicious and trying their best to blame multiple bruising, abrasions, contusions to her body, her hair matted in blood from a head laceration all on a heart problem.

Another bombshell tonight: Police show up at Peterson`s doorstep to hand deliver subpoenas to Petersons` teenage children. And tonight, in a stunning blow, the state puts the kibosh on Peterson`s chance to maintain his vast gun collection.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Peterson is speaking out. He says he`s shocked by the new autopsy concluding Kathleen Savio`s death was murder. And as far as the Stacy Peterson investigation, the former cop stands behind his theory his 23-year-old wife and devoted mom left on her own with another man, while reports reveal brand-new subpoenas by a secret grand jury who want answers from Kathleen Savio and Drew Peterson`s teenage sons. And after months of battle over evidence seized from his home, a judge orders police to return 11 guns, computers and cars. But now that his firearms license has been revoked, will Peterson actually get his guns back?



GRACE: Good evening, I`m Nancy Grace. I want to thank you for being with us. His fourth wife missing for months, his third wife`s suspicious bathtub drowning officially ruled homicide, Drew Peterson breaks his silence as brand-new grand jury subpoenas hand-served on his two teenagers, the children of his third wife found dead in a dry bathtub.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Former cop and suspect in his fourth wife`s disappearance, Drew Peterson, takes to the airwaves, speaking out. Peterson says he`s prepared for anything, even going to prison, but goes on the defense about the bombshell autopsy now ruling his third wife`s death a homicide. Since 2004, Kathleen Savio`s suspicious bathtub drowning ruled an accident, but the disappearance of Stacy Peterson led investigators to reopen the case. Drew Peterson still telling his two young children with Stacy their mommy is on vacation, while his other two teenage kids with Savio reportedly set to testify before a secret grand jury. A judge orders investigators to return Peterson`s property, including 11 guns seized as evidence. But in a strategic move, the state`s attorney requests Peterson`s gun license be revoked, a request granted by state police.


GRACE: In the face of his fourth wife`s mysterious disappearance -- she`s been gone for months now, leaving her children behind -- and a new ruling that his third wife was murdered -- that`s right, a homicide -- drowning to death in a dry bathtub, what does Drew Peterson do? Does he go light a candle? Does he say a novena? No. He goes on national TV. Take a listen.


MATT LAUER, CO-HOST, "TODAY": Do you still feel that you will not be arrested in connection...


LAUER: How about you?

JOEL BRODSKY, PETERSON`S ATTORNEY: I still do not see any credible evidence...

LAUER: But are you as confident that he will not be arrested?

BRODSKY: Yes, I am.

LAUER: Are you prepared to be arrested?


LAUER: Are you prepared that there`s a chance you could spend the rest of your life in jail?

PETERSON: I`m prepared for anything that could come up. Once I found out -- my main concern about anything is my children. And once all my ducks are in line for their well-being, I`m OK.


GRACE: That`s video of Peterson and his attorney, Joel Brodsky. They were on the "Today" show talking about the possibility of prison. Now, I can only speak for myself, but if you believed you were innocent, would you be prepared and willing to go to jail? I don`t think so.

And that`s not all. Take a listen to this.


PETERSON: It was kind of shocking. We believed for the last four years that her death was accidental. And then all of a sudden -- that was with a fresh autopsy. Now all of a sudden, there`s a new autopsy with the full body, let`s say, and it`s been ruled a homicide. I`m kind of suspicious of it.

LAUER: You don`t think that the coroner`s report is accurate?

PETERSON: I`m not sure. I think it needs to be scrutinized and looked at a little closer.


GRACE: Oh, we`ve looked at it. That`s Peterson again on NBC`s "Today" show, seemingly emotionless, talking about the new coroner`s finding, his third wife, Kathleen Savio`s, death now ruled a homicide.

Now, let me get this straight, Michelle Sigona -- Michelle joining us from "America`s Most Wanted." Drew Peterson has a third wife found dead by him...


GRACE: ... drowned to death with multiple bruises and lacerations to the body in a dry bathtub. The fourth wife goes missing mysteriously. He`s the last one to see her. They`re having an argument. And she leaves the children behind. And he`s suspicious of the autopsy? He`s suspicious of the medical examiner?

SIGONA: That`s exactly -- that`s what he`s claiming again for his third national appearance here, Nancy.

GRACE: OK, Michelle. Bring me up to date.

SIGONA: Well, basically, what has gone on right now is that there`s a grand jury meeting about Drew Peterson. They meet once a week, usually on Thursdays. But for some reason, they didn`t meet today, Nancy. And that is actually on the docket for four months, with a possible extension of six months.

Make a long story short, at this particular grand jury meeting, what they are trying to determine is if Drew Peterson is, in fact, linked to Kathleen Savio`s death and trying to find him responsible for, obviously, the disappearance of Stacy Peterson and the possible homicide of Stacy Peterson. Unfortunately, there`s not a body at this point.

And then that brings us up to today, where he appeared on the "Today" show earlier, talking about his family, talking about, as you mentioned, being prepared to go to jail and wanting nothing but the best for his children. And also, the judge has ruled that he can have his personal items back, iPod, computer, cars, guns, things like that. But the only thing is, is that if it does go to trial on any of these cases, he has to be able to admit to these -- that these things are his. In other words, he can`t say, That`s not my iPod, that`s my son`s iPod, or whatever the case may be.

In addition, his gun license has been revoked, which -- you know, obviously, I think the state police thinks is a good thing, at this point. So he may get those guns back. But he says it`s not really important to him.

GRACE: How many guns does he have?

SIGONA: Eleven.

GRACE: What types, do we know?

SIGONA: I don`t know what type.

GRACE: Let`s go out to the lines. Michael in Florida. Hi, Michael.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hi, Nancy. Love your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I`m wondering, did Drew Peterson really think that going on national TV would get suspicion off of him? I mean, what was he trying to succeed from going on national TV?

GRACE: Let`s unleash the lawyers. Joining us, Susan Moss, Carmen St. George and Joey Jackson. To you, Susan Moss. When you`re under suspicion and you are a target, it`s never a good thing to blab. What`s he thinking?

SUSAN MOSS, FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY: He`s not thinking at all. And I like the fact that he wants his guns back. Is that because he`s planning to propose to wife number five? This guy has done everything wrong, including, I believe, kill his two wives.

GRACE: Well, it`s just not a good look to be fighting tooth and nail to get back a gun collection when you`ve got one dead wife and one wife missing. What about it, Joey Jackson? Why go on national TV? And I noticed this morning that when Lauer would throw him questions, he would just look over at his lawyer. I mean, why bother to get all dressed up and rear back on a sofa and then be afraid to answer anything?

JOEY JACKSON, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: You know what, Nancy? It`s not the fact that he goes on national TV, it`s what he says when he gets there. Now, with regard to him going on national TV, I see the lawyer`s point. What he`s essentially doing, Nancy, is pre-addressing a jury. Now, I know he`s not a defendant yet in this case, but one of the things we struggle with as defense lawyers all the time is humanizing our client, making them know and making jurors know that they live, they breathe, they laugh, they care for families. And so essentially, I think that`s a strategy. Unfortunately, based upon how he`s presenting himself, it`s a strategy that`s not being executed as it should be.

GRACE: Carmen St. George, I agree with Joey Jackson and also Susan Moss, but here`s the fly in the ointment. You go on national TV to go ahead and start conditioning a future jury, make them start empathizing with you. But then, when you sit there -- let`s just put it out there. He looked like a whore in church. He`s sitting there, ready to answer questions, totally out of place, but when he gets a question, he looks around and he won`t say anything. He`s afraid (INAUDIBLE) saying, How can I answer that? I can`t respond to that. He didn`t answer the questions.

CARMEN ST. GEORGE, DEFENSE ATTORNEY: Right. Nancy, I mean, it`s a cameo appearance, and I guess that`s the importance of choosing the right lawyers and heeding advice. And he`s getting the advice that this is supportive and this is something that he should be doing. I`ve said since day one that Drew Peterson should not be on camera, should not be saying anything. And in fact, he got on the "Today" show and made comments that he`s actually controlling his family and he thinks that more Americans should be in control of their families. Statement like that are not going to help him. And I would have advised him to keep quiet.

GRACE: Well, controlling the family -- let`s go out to Mike Brooks, former fed with the FBI and also on the terrorism task force. Controlling your family -- does that possibly involve double revolvers, 9-millimeter semi-automatics, some bolt-action rifles, a couple of shotguns and one AR- 15? What`s he doing with an AR-15? Explain what that is. It`s an assault rifle.

MIKE BROOKS, FORMER D.C. POLICE, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: It`s a rifle, Nancy. It`s, basically, the civilian version of...

GRACE: Oh, what`s the A for? What`s the A for, Brooks?

BROOKS: That`s just -- it`s a semi-automatic rifle. It fires as quick as you can pull the trigger. It`s basically the civilian model of the M-16 which we see all the time being used in Iraq.

But you know, Nancy, talking about controlling your family -- let`s go back to wife number three, Kathleen Savio, now her death ruled a homicide. The police were called to his house, I guess, while he was controlling his family then, in the last two years 18 times. And we`ve heard from one of his friends before, Nancy, that one time when Stacy Peterson happened to be in the car with him, his next wife, that he got into an argument with Kathleen Savio, threw her down on the ground and handcuffed her. I guess that`s controlling your family. I don`t know about that.

GRACE: Another issue. This whole controlling your family statement, I guarantee you if it ever goes to trial is going to come back to haunt him...

BROOKS: Absolutely.

GRACE: ... because when Stacy Peterson went missing -- remember, she, according to him, had been at the home, they had been arguing, and then somehow she just disappears without any of her stuff? How is that controlling your family?

BROOKS: Yes. Good question. I mean, the way he seems to control his family, I tell you what, you know -- then a protection order also from wife number three, and the other wife said, too, he was very controlling.

GRACE: Out to the lines. Diane in Florida. Hi, Diane.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi. I love your show.

GRACE: Thank you, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My question is, is what about his first and second husband -- or wife?

GRACE: You know, you must be psychic. I was just thinking about that. To Kathy Cheney with "The Chicago Defender." What about wives one and two?

KATHY CHENEY, "CHICAGO DEFENDER": Well, the first wife says that there was no type of abuse whatsoever and everything ended on a good note. The second wife didn`t say the same thing. She said that she was harassed at some point when she wanted to get a divorce, and after she did, that he harassed her. So she came out with some similar claims that Kathleen Savio and Stacy Peterson did, but not wife number one.

GRACE: Kathy, harassed in what manner?

CHENEY: Harassed that he would pull her over for no reason at all while she was on the street, saying she had bald tires, just minor traffic infractions that he would just pull her over just to harass her.

GRACE: You mean, while he was a cop, he would pull her over?


GRACE: How long did he stay on the force after those claims were made, I wonder?

CHENEY: He was still on the force until he retired.

GRACE: OK. There you have it.

Out to the lines. Adriana in Nevada. Hi. Adriana.


GRACE: Hi, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Love your show, as well.

GRACE: Thank you. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, actually, I have a comment. It was funny they just showed him talking about how the autopsy report needs to be scrutinized better. Dr. Baden is renowned for his work. He has been on very famous cases.

GRACE: You know, he has. He is very well known.

To Michelle Sigona. Baden, Dr. Michael Baden, was called in, it`s my understanding, by Savio`s family. Has there been another autopsy, as well?

SIGONA: Yes, there has been another autopsy that has been performed after Dr. Baden. Now, this was, remember, Nancy, after her body was exhumed. So you had the first autopsy when Kathleen`s body was found dead. Then you had Dr. Baden, and then you had the third one. So you have two more recent ones. And you have to think, this case is about four years old. March the 1st, as a matter of fact, was the date that in 2004 that Kathleen`s body was found. And so we`re four years later, but they were still able to conclusively link and to say that, yes, this death is definitely a homicide.

GRACE: You know, I was taking a long, hard look at the original autopsy back in 2004. We`re talking about Peterson`s wife number three, Kathleen Savio. And I don`t know how anyone could look at all the blows to the body -- eight separate descriptions of blows and lacerations to the body -- the hair matted in blood and say this was a drowning. It just -- how can you fall once in a bathtub and hurt yourself that many times?

Out to the lines. Steve in Michigan. Hi, Steve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How`re you doing, Nancy?

GRACE: I`m good, dear. What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Even though I completely believe Drew is a scumbag and...

GRACE: OK. Have I lost Steve, Rosey? OK. Steve, we`re going to try to get you back in the loop. I think that he was likely about to say -- and I`m going to throw this to Bethany Marshall -- that while he thinks he`s a bad guy, is there proof of murder? What about behavioral evidence, Bethany?

BETHANY MARSHALL, PSYCHOTHERAPIST: There is so much behavioral evidence. When you see the Matt Lauer interview this morning, even though Drew Peterson only speaks a few times, he convicts himself at every turn. Case in point, when he says about the children that he`s only concerned about their welfare and getting his ducks in a row, you`re right, an innocent man does not talk like that. An innocent man says, Our family is so devastated. They`ve lost their mother, and now they`re potentially facing the loss of their father. I`m going to do everything to fight for myself so I can be with my children. We`re all being wronged. That`s how an innocent man speaks.

I think he went on the Matt Lauer show so he could look meek, mild and humble. But that nature, it just slips through the cracks every time he opens his mouth. So I think Steve`s right about the scumbag part.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically, Kathleen Savio -- again, her death was originally ruled an accident. Now, after another autopsy, it`s been ruled a homicide. And she had told people, told her sister, who testified before the coroner`s report, basically saying just that, He could kill me, then make it look like an accident. Lo and behold, that`s kind of what we got.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The Drew Peterson story. He`s a suspect in his wife, Stacy`s, disappearance, and just recently, his third wife`s death was ruled a homicide, not an accident, as we thought originally. (INAUDIBLE) still defiant, again appearing on the "Today" show for the third time. One reason I don`t trust him and a lot of others don`t is his second, third, fourth wives all said he was controlling, abusive, feared for their lives...


GRACE: Joining me right now is a very special guest. It is Stacy Peterson`s stepsister, Kerry Simmons. Kerry, thank you for being with us. What`s your reaction to Peterson on the "Today" show?

KERRY SIMMONS, STACY`S STEPSISTER: Hi, Nancy. You know, I think the thing that hit me the most was the fact that he actually had said that he was in control of his family. And people aren`t in control of their families. You discipline your children and you work together with your spouse as a family. And just the fact that he said he was in control meant he had to have everything his way when he needed it a certain way. And we know that he was very controlling of Stacy, the way he followed her and tracked her phone calls, and you know, basically went everywhere she went.

GRACE: Kerry, what do you believe has happened to Stacy?

SIMMONS: You know, I believe Drew lost control, and I think that upset him very much. And we don`t think Stacy ever left the house that day. You know, she was getting ready to leave, and you know, I think that was what ended everything and that`s why she`s not here with us.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Illinois State Police two to three times a week, and I never get the feeling that it`s stalled. If anything, I always leave, you know, hopeful and with the understanding this case is still going full force ahead.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Anything -- all of these appearances he`s making on these national media outlets, there are transcripts that result from this, all of these statements he`s making to the news media in their case and chief, if, in fact, he`s ever charged with the murder of Stacy.


GRACE: Out to the lines. Steve in Michigan. Hi, Steve. Let`s try it again.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. Hi, Nancy.

GRACE: Hi, dear.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you. My question is...

GRACE: What`s your question?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My question is, even though he`s not been proven guilty yet, how can they take his guns? How can they take his gun permit?

GRACE: Oh, OK. Kathy Cheney, what about the gun permit?

CHENEY: The gun permit? It has been revoked. He can no longer carry a firearm.

GRACE: But why? Why?

CHENEY: The state`s attorney`s office wants to do that. They don`t want him to get his guns back, and that...

GRACE: Michelle Sigona...

CHENEY: ... is a clever way...

GRACE: ... did they give a reason as to why they revoked the permit?

SIGONA: You know, they didn`t give a reason, but I would imagine, since he is the primary suspect in Stacy`s disappearance and possible homicide, that they have a pretty good reason to be able to take his guns permit away.

GRACE: To medical examiner Dr. Zhongxue Hua. Dr. Hua, some concern over the autopsy of an old body, says Drew Peterson on the "Today" show. Exhumations and autopsies are commonly -- well, they`re not commonly done, but they`re often done, yes?

DR. ZHONGXUE HUA, MEDICAL EXAMINER: Yes, it`s commonly done. And second autopsy certainly would present some more problems (INAUDIBLE) you need more knowledge to do the autopsy. However, any injuries suffered previously were certainly still there. (INAUDIBLE) very conclusive.


Thank you to all of our guests, but especially to you for being with us. Until tomorrow night, good night, friends.