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Hitman witness takes stand at Drew Peterson trial

8:54 AM, Aug 22, 2012   |    comments
Drew Peterson
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JOLIET, Ill. (AP) - A man who says Drew Peterson offered him $25,000 to hire someone to kill his third wife has taken the stand at the former Illinois police officer's murder trial.

Jeff Pachter is the first witness Wednesday.

Judge Edward Burmila initially said prosecutors couldn't broach the hitman allegation. But Burmila handed prosecutors a legal victory Tuesday by giving them the OK to introduce it.

Prosecutors allege Peterson ended up killing Kathleen Savio himself in 2004. But they contend the hitman testimony gives them the chance to demonstrate Peterson thought about killing Savio months before she died.

Neighbors found Savio's body in her bathtub with a gash on the back of her head. But Peterson wasn't charged in her death until three years later after his fourth wife disappeared.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Associated Press

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