Drew Peterson joked with reporters today as he was being led into court in shackles to face allegations that he drowned his third wife five years ago.
Peterson, 55, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Kathleen Savio, whose body was found in her bathtub in 2004 with a gash in her head.
Asked if he was looking forward to his day in court, Peterson, handcuffed and wearing a red jumpsuit, said, "What about this bling? Look at this bling. Three squares a day in this spiffy outfit. How can you beat that? Look at this bling. My God. "
A judge postponed Peterson's arraignment until May 18 because neither of Peterson's attorneys were in court today, the Associated Press reported. Peterson didn't speak in court except to tell the judge he understood the continuance.
Peterson, an ex-cop, became a target of police scrutiny after the disappearance of his fourth wife, Stacy Peterson. He was arrested yesterday after a lengthy police investigation. He is being held in the Will County, Ill., jail on $20 million bond.
The indictment's legal language accuses Peterson of drowning Savio, saying that he forced her to "inhale fluid" and that he did it "with the intent to kill Kathleen Savio."
Savio's sister, Susan Doman, said the world is finally a "safe place for me" now that Peterson has been arrested.
Peterson is also a suspect in the 2007 disappearance of fourth wife Stacy Peterson, and Peterson's friends and family said today that the arrest is bittersweet.
"It's a very hollow victory right now not knowing where Stacy is," said Sharon Bychowski, a friend of Stacy Peterson who lives next door to Drew Peterson. "We still have a ways to go. It wasn't quite the victory I thought it would be."
The investigation into Stacy Peterson's disappearance is continuing and Pam Bosco, a friend and family spokesman, said the family "understands that it's ongoing and we just have to be patient with it."
Peterson was arrested Thursday afternoon. Well known for his wisecracks and blase attitude, Peterson reportedly said as he was being led to jail, "I guess I should have returned those library books."
"He's an idiot," Susan Doman, Savio's sister, said today on "Good Morning America," dismayed that Peterson would make jokes after he was arrested for his wife's murder.
Peterson has maintained his innocence to anyone who would listen both in Savio's death and Stacy Peterson's disappearance. At times he's even seemed to revel in the spotlight.
"Drew takes these charges very seriously," his lawyer Joel Brodsky told "Good Morning America." Those jokes, he said, are his way of dealing with stress. "That's just his nature."
Doman said the family hopes the arrest is the first step in justice for her sister. Peterson was arrested shortly before he was scheduled to fly to Reno to interview for a security job at a brothel featured on a cable television show.
"It was a big relief because he wasn't going on all these shows, going around joking and laughing," Doman said.
Prosecutors plan to enter into evidence letters from Savio that reveal her fear of what her husband might do. A new law in Illinois, which Peterson's lawyer is planning to fight, would allow such evidence to be used.