M. Spencer Green / AP
Marcia Savio, stepmother of Kathleen Savio, cries outside the Will County Courthouse in Joliet, Ill., on Thursday after former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson was found guilty of murder. At right is Kathleen Savio's half-brother Nicholas Savio.
By Lisa Balde, NBCChicago.com
With tears falling and arms raised in vindication, Kathleen Savio's stepmother called Drew Peterson's guilty verdict justice for her daughter after years of waiting.
"Finally, somebody heard Kathleen's cries!" Marcia Savio yelled to cheers from a crowd of onlookers. "Twelve people did the right thing, thank God. She won today. It's her victory."
After 14 hours of deliberation, a seven-man, five-woman Will County jury found Peterson guilty of murdering his third wife in a bathtub in 2004. As the verdict came down, gasps were heard throughout the courtroom, and Savio's family immediately hugged each other, shedding tears of joy.
"This is better than the White Sox winning the World Series," Savio's brother, Nick Savio, told reporters after the verdict came down.
In a statement read through tears, Nick Savio said his sister received justice after a "very long time." He said he hopes and prays Savio's children never forget her.
The Chicago Tribune via AP file
Kathleen Savio is shown in an undated photo provided by the Will County State's Attorney.
"Although we cannot have Kathleen back, we hope she can now rest in peace and that she knows she has had her day and justice has finally been served," he said.
"Stacy, you are now next for justice," he cried, referring to Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy Peterson, who went missing in 2007.
AFP - Getty Images file
Stacy Peterson is seen in an undated photo provied by the Illinois State Police.
Savio's father, Henry, told reporters he never thought this day would come but now that it has, "I know it would make her happy as well if she was here."
Through the tears of joy, an edge of anger emerged from Savio's family toward Peterson and his attorneys.
"I don't see you laughing now," Nick Savio said of Peterson, "so why don't you go with your clown defense team who made fun of this whole trial and go have a cigar with them while you're rotting in jail."
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