At a bail hearing for Peterson, Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow said Peterson was willing to pay $25,000 in 2003, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Kathleen Savio drowned in a bathtub in 2004, a death that was initially ruled an accident.
Glasgow also told a judge that Peterson told another Bolingbrook police officer in 2004, a few weeks before the drowning, that he wished Savio would die.
"My life would be so much easier if she were just dead," he allegedly said.
A Will County judge refused a motion to reduce Peterson's $20 million bail. Peterson, 55, who retired from the police department after his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, disappeared in 2007, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
Peterson remains a suspect in Stacy's disappearance. Her body has never been found, and Peterson maintains that she left him.