May 22, 12:55 PM EDT

Drew Peterson granted trial delay in murder-for-hire case


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Timeline of the Drew Peterson case

CHESTER, Ill. (AP) -- A southern Illinois judge has granted Drew Peterson's request to delay his trial on charges that the former suburban Chicago police sergeant plotted to kill the prosecutor who helped convict him in his third wife's death.

The Randolph County trial was scheduled to begin July 6 after Peterson requested a speedy trial after being charged in February. But Peterson's lawyer said Friday in a brief hearing that the 61-year-old ex-Bolingbrook officer needs more time to prepare.

"We're just not going to be ready by then," said attorney Lucas Liefer.

Prosecutors didn't oppose the request. The trial is now set to start Aug. 28.

Peterson has pleaded not guilty to charges that he solicited another prison inmate, whose identity has not been disclosed, to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow.

Glasgow prosecuted the 2012 case in which Peterson was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the bathtub drowning death of his ex-wife Kathleen Savio eight years earlier. Her death was initially ruled an accident, but the case was re-opened after the 2007 disappearance of Peterson's fourth wife. Peterson remains a suspect in that case but has denied harming both women.

Peterson's lawyers told a state appeals court Thursday that his murder conviction should be overturned because of improper use of hearsay evidence and mistakes by his former attorney.

The Third District Court of Appeals judicial panel did not immediately issue a ruling after Thursday's hearing.

Peterson is also scheduled to return to court in a July 7 hearing on three prosecutorial motions that were initially supposed to be discussed Friday.

Prosecutors want to allow cross-examination of Peterson, should he choose to testify. The court will also consider a request to discuss a 2003 attempt by Peterson to pay someone $25,000 to "take care of" Savio. A third motion to be considered seeks to limit discussion at trial about the details of a confidential informant's own criminal history.

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