JOLIET, Ill. – Eleven guns, two vehicles and other items seized from Drew Peterson's home should be returned, an attorney for the former police officer said Wednesday, arguing authorities are trying to "vex" his client.
John Carroll, who spoke at a hearing in Will County Court, also belittled the warrant that allowed for the seizures after Peterson's wife disappeared more than a month ago. He said it's only reasonable if Illinois State Police believe Drew Peterson used all 11 guns to kill his wife and both vehicles to transport her body.
"That's ludicrous," said Carroll, one of the former Bolingbrook police officer's attorneys.
Authorities have called a suspect in his wife's disappearance but he has not been charged.
"There's not even an indictment," Carroll said.
Stacy Peterson was last seen Oct. 28 and reported missing by her family the next day. Drew Peterson, a longtime member of the Bolingbrook Police Department until he quit after his wife's disappearance, has said he believes his wife left him for another man and is alive.
Prosecutor John Connor defended the warrant and authorities' decision to keep the seized items, saying defense attorneys are "attempting to put a clock on the state (police) in their investigation." He said it's far too soon to talk about returning all the items.
In a filing Tuesday, prosecutors did agree to return two iPods and 23 music CDs taken from Peterson's home but objected to defense attorneys' request to return the guns, vehicles, the children's computers and a backpack "apparently containing some items" belonging to Stacy Peterson.
Judge Daniel Rozek asked attorneys to submit briefs and said he would return to court with a decision Monday.
Carroll argued that even if Rozek agrees the warrant is valid, there's no reason the items shouldn't be returned more than a month after being seized. "Assuming these warrants are beautiful ... the point is how long can they hang on to these things?" Carroll said. "We're saying they've had enough time."
Authorities are "attempting to vex Mr. Peterson," Carroll said, noting it is difficult for Peterson to be without his vehicles during the holidays. Another attorney noted Peterson has four minor children living with him.
Connor said authorities still need the items to conduct their investigation and do further testing.
Earlier Wednesday, the Chicago Tribune reported that Stacy Peterson's sister told authorities that Drew Peterson had fired a gunshot that narrowly missed his wife last summer.
Cassandra Cales said her sister told her that Drew Peterson was in his master bedroom when the gun allegedly went off as Stacy was getting a soda from the garage.
"She heard a POW. It scared her. She looked around the garage — she didn't know what it was," Cales said. "Drew went down there. He picked up all the pieces and he never made a report (to police). He patched the ceiling. Stacy showed me the hole. She peeled the carpet back and showed me where the hole was."
Drew Peterson's attorney dismissed the account as a rumor.
"It's more baloney," Attorney Joel Brodsky said. "Just another Elvis sighting."
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APTV 12-12-07 1333EST