Peterson to Seek Special Prosecutor

An Illinois judge Monday denied Drew Peterson's request to force investigators to return property, including 11 guns and two vehicles that were seized during the search for his missing wife.

Peterson also had planned to ask the judge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate leaks of grand jury testimony arising from an investigation into the disappearance of Stacy Peterson, his fourth wife, ABC News Law & Justice Unit has learned.

"I am America's No. 1 hated person now," Peterson told ABC News. "They are looking at this as a witch hunt — and I'm the witch! I have never seen anyone attacked like this before. I am public enemy No. 1."

Peterson, a tough, veteran former cop caught squarely in the center of a major missing-persons investigation, has begun to play hardball with authorities.

He has has grown increasingly aggressive in defending himself as the investigation has moved forward with apparently only circumstantial evidence.

As some widely reported claims have later appeared to be false — like earlier police allegations that Peterson and another man asked two truck drivers to transport a blue container the night after Stacy disappeared — Peterson has dramatically ratcheted up his criticism of the investigation.

Peterson and attorney Joel Brodsky also planned to issue a formal complaint about what they say have been numerous law enforcement leaks to the press about the case.

"It is obvious to anyone who watches the television news-based entertainment media, especially certain television cable channels, that there is a serious and continuing leak of information emanating from these special grand jury proceedings concerning Sgt. Drew Peterson," Brodsky wrote in a letter to the judge, according to the Associated Press.

A grand jury has been hearing evidence pointing to authorities' theory that Peterson was involved in the disappearance. An investigation was opened into the death of Peterson's third wife, Kathleen Savio, whose death had been ruled an accident. Savio's remains have been exhumed, and that investigation is ongoing.

Peterson has vehemently denied any involvement in the disappearance. He has said he believes Stacy ran off with another man. As interest in the case has exploded nationwide, pressure has mounted on prosecutors to solve the case or make an arrest.

Peterson has long been the primary target of the investigation. When called to testify before the grand jury, he exercised his Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself and did not answer questions, sources told ABC News.

An impatient public and media, combined with relentless and often public pressure from the family of Stacy, has driven the investigation forward with an intensity not often seen in the courtrooms of Joliet, Ill.

Earlier this month, police released a statement saying that they believe Peterson was one of two men who approached a pair of truck drivers the day after Stacy disappeared and asked them to transport a large blue container to an undisclosed location, where it would be retrieved.

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