As convicted murderer Drew Peterson played to the cameras on his way out of the courtroom on Thursday, Kathleen Savio's sister Anna Doman was not surprised.
- Oklahoma Tornado Death Toll Reaches 91, Continues to Climb
- Did Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson and More All Get the Same Cannes Dress Memo?
- Dancing with the Stars: Final Four Compete for Mirror-Ball Trophy
- Catherine Zeta-Jones Returns Home from Treatment for Bipolar II Disorder
- Justin Bartha Engaged to Lia Smith
“It was very typical Drew,’’ Doman told Matt Lauer on TODAY Friday. “Typical sociopath, all full of himself.’’
Peterson, 58, a retired police officer in Bolingbrook, Ill., was found guilty for murdering Savio, his third wife, in 2004. Savio was found dead in a waterless bathtub in her home. At the time, her death was declared an accidental drowning. But after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in 2007, her body was exhumed and her death ruled a homocide.
After five weeks of testimony, it took the jury 13 hours to render a guilty verdict on Thursday.
Peterson will be sentenced on Nov. 26 and could face a maximum of 60 years in jail. On his way out of the courtroom, Peterson was heard to utter, “I guess this will ruin my Christmas.’’
“When I first heard (the verdict), I was like, ‘Did I really hear that or do I want to hear it so bad, that’s what I heard?’’ Doman said. “You wait, and you want it so much.’’Video: Kathleen Savio sister: Peterson ‘terrified’ her (on this page)
The landmark trial was helped by Illinois legislation enacted in 2008 called “Drew’s Law,’’ that allowed prosecutors to build their case largely on hearsay. Prosecutors said the law allowed Savio and Stacy Peterson to “speak from their graves’’ through the testimony of their friends and family.
While Savio’s family feels they received a measure of justice with the verdict on Thursday, Stacy Peterson’s disappearance has gone unsolved and Drew has not been charged. Drew Peterson claimed she ran off with another man when she disappeared at 23 years old in 2007. She is presumed dead, and the state’s attorney told reporters outside the courthouse Thursday that prosecutors are aggressively reviewing Stacy Peterson’s case.
“I told (Stacy’s family), ‘Eventually it will come,’’’ Doman said. “I’m praying for them and anything I can do to help, I would definitely do it. It’s tough losing someone you love. I miss my sister desperately, but at least I know where she is and what happened. Not knowing, I can’t imagine how horrible that has to be.’’
More TODAY News
Even though the family did not have physical proof that Peterson murdered Savio, Doman always believed that he had done it. Stacy Peterson’s family and friends testified that she told them that Peterson had repeatedly threatened to kill her and had asked her to provide him with an alibi on the night Savio died.
“Just by the way that he had treated her and things she had told us over the years,’’ Doman said of her sister. “She told me multiple times, ‘He said he’s going to kill me.’ She was terrified of the guy.’’
Peterson’s defense team plans to appeal the decision based on the hearsay evidence, failing to put Peterson at the scene of the crime. Doman’s attorney, John Q. Kelly, appeared alongside her on TODAY Friday and believes the verdict will hold up.
“The Illinois Supreme Court has already ruled on the constitutionality of it and upheld it,’’ Kelly told Lauer. “It’s commonly referred to as the ‘voice from the grave,’ but basically it says someone can’t benefit by silencing another person who has incriminating testimony against them, and it’s fair.’’
“I couldn’t come up with any reason in my mind to not put him at the scene beyond a reasonable doubt,’’ juror Ron Supalo told NBC News.
Kelly did acknowledge that hearsay from the loved ones of Savio and Stacy Peterson played an important role in securing a conviction.
“It would have been more difficult (without the allowance of hearsay), but the perfect crime just got a little more difficult to commit,’’ Kelly said. “All things considered, it’s equitable, it’s constitutional and the conviction is going to stand that (challenge).’’
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints