Witness: Savio afraid of Peterson

Feb. 1, 2010 at 5:49 PM
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JOLIET, Ill., Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A neighbor of Kathleen Savio testified Monday at a pretrial hearing for Drew Peterson's murder trial in Illinois that Savio was terrified of her ex-husband.

Peterson is accused in Will County of killing Savio, his third wife. The ex-Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer has not been charged in the death of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who has been missing for more than a year.

The Chicago Tribune said the neighbor, Nick Pontarelli, 19, was 14 at the time of Savio's death in 2004, and testified, "Kathy was like a second mom to be me."

Pontarelli said Savio put a deadbolt lock on her bedroom door and one on her front door, but allegedly believed Peterson had drilled a hole over the bedroom lock; she also allegedly believed Peterson had bugged her home, he said.

Pontarelli said Savio showed him a hole from a garage to her home that her ex-husband used to climb through. The witness, who said he last saw Savio shortly before her body was found in March 2004, testified Savio told him over lunch she was afraid because the divorce settlement was coming up, the Tribune reported.

Pontarelli testified at a hearing to determine what hearsay evidence a jury can hear when Peterson stands trial in Savio's death.

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