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Cocky ex-cop Drew Peterson screams his innocence, gets 38 years in prison for wife's murder

  • FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife Kathleen Savio. On Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, Will County Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison for Savio's murder.  (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

    FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police sergeant Drew Peterson arrives at the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., for his arraignment on charges of first-degree murder in the 2004 death of his third wife Kathleen Savio. On Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, Will County Judge Edward Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison for Savio's murder. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this courtroom sketch Drew Peterson, right, address the court and Judge Edward Burmila during Peterson's sentencing at the Will County Courthouse for the 2004 murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Joliet, Ill. Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison. (AP Photo/Tom Gianni)

    In this courtroom sketch Drew Peterson, right, address the court and Judge Edward Burmila during Peterson's sentencing at the Will County Courthouse for the 2004 murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Joliet, Ill. Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison. (AP Photo/Tom Gianni)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this courtroom sketch, Drew Peterson, left, watches Will County States Attorney James K. Glasgow during Peterson's sentencing for the 2004 murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio before Judge Edward Burmila at the Will County Courthouse Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Joliet, Ill. Later in the day, Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison for the crime. (AP Photo/Tom Gianni)

    In this courtroom sketch, Drew Peterson, left, watches Will County States Attorney James K. Glasgow during Peterson's sentencing for the 2004 murder of his third wife Kathleen Savio before Judge Edward Burmila at the Will County Courthouse Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Joliet, Ill. Later in the day, Burmila sentenced Peterson to 38 years in prison for the crime. (AP Photo/Tom Gianni)  (The Associated Press)

Drew Peterson showed nearly no emotion during his murder trial. Yet the once famously jocular ex-Illinois police officer screamed out his innocence before he was sentenced to 38 years in prison for his third wife's death.

The outburst Thursday suggested reality may be settling in for Peterson, who for years casually dismissed suggestions he killed Kathleen Savio in 2004, or that he was behind the 2007 disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson.

Savio's death was initially ruled an accident. But after Stacy Peterson disappeared, authorities took another look and reclassified Savio's death as a homicide.

But the sentencing isn't the end. Prosecutors say they could charge Peterson in the disappearance of his fourth wife. And defense attorneys believe the conviction could get tossed because prosecutors heavily relied on hearsay.