It wasn't until he was tried a third time in Porter County that Peterson was finally convicted, in that case for the murders of Harchand Dhaliwal and Marie Meitzler. Meitzler, 48, was killed while working at a motor lodge on U. Staples said he remembered the jury's verdict like it was yesterday."I remember this sense of relief," he said.Dhaliwal, 54, was killed and robbed while he worked at the Hudson Oil service station on U. "We finally brought him before the bar of justice and had a jury convict him and say 'You'll be held responsible.'"Peterson was sentenced to death for his convictions in Porter and Lake counties.That reversal was sustained by the Seventh Circuit of the U. Lake Criminal Court Judge James Clement overruled a jury's recommendation for leniency for Peterson when he ordered Peterson be put to death in June 1992.Peterson was resentenced to two 60-year terms in prison for the murders of Eli Balovski and George Baloski.Peterson, now 48, changed his name while in prison to Obadyah Ben-Yisrayl. Peterson is scheduled to be released from prison in April 2051.
Peterson, a 22-year-old Marine deserter, was a dark-skinned black man with short hair, which contradicted a composite sketch released of the killer.A search of Peterson's home that night turned up a shotgun in his closet, which a gun expert determined through ballistic testing fired spent shells found at three murder scenes.Peterson owned a boxy, white car, which witnesses had seen at several crime scenes, and his palm print matched two prints lifted from a victim's vehicle.Staples said Jillson confused Peterson for Harris, a light-skinned black man with medium-length hair, which caused the erroneous composite sketch.A second trial in January 1992 in Lake Criminal Court also ended in acquittals.In the center, Peterson is led into the Porter County Courthouse during his trial.At right is Lawrence Mills, the first murder victim in the string of slayings. 30, 1990, outside American Legion Post 66 in Griffith.30, 1991, outside American Legion Post 66 in Griffith.Hammersley, 25, was shot in the head later that night while chatting with Jillson outside the Petro Mart gas station in Cedar Lake, where they both worked.A 16-year-old girl arrived at her family's home in St. She parked in the garage and got out of her car to see a man with a shotgun standing behind her.He ordered her to be quiet, she screamed, and a shotgun shell blasted through the back of the garage, narrowly missing the girl.