An Illinois judge noted during a hearing Tuesday that he is ready to order police to relinquish 10 guns taken from Drew Peterson’s home during a search last fall, The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
But the guns will not be returned to Peterson, a suspect in the October disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy, but will most likely end up going to his police officer son, Stephen, Peterson’s attorney told the Sun-Times.
"This court is of the opinion the state cannot withhold the firearms indefinitely," said Judge Richard Schoenstedt. Schoenstedt then deferred a formal ruling until later this month.
Schoenstedt already ordered state police to return Peterson's two vehicles and other items in February, including the guns — but authorities managed to block the return of the guns by revoking Peterson’s Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.
Peterson wants his son to hold the weapons while he appeals the revocation of his Firearm Owner's card.
Prosecutors in Will County, Ill., objected to the judge’s decision, claiming Peterson’s guns are still being used in their investigation into Stacy Peterson’s disappearance and the 2004 drowning death of Peterson’s third wife, Kathleen Savio.
Peterson's attorney Joel Brodsky told the Sun-Times that Schoenstedt’s comments "indicate very strongly" that he plans to order the weapons be released to Peterson's son.
Peterson hasn't been charged in his wife’s disappearance and denies any wrongdoing.