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Thursday, January 5th, 2006 -- 3:08 PM

There?s been a major development in the Illinois court case against Daniel Peterson. Officials say it could mean the man will face homicide charges in Clark County in a ?matter of weeks?. Investigators allege Peterson killed his wife, Vickie, two years ago on New Year?s Eve night or early on New Year?s Day before driving from Neillsville to Black River Falls and then hitchhiking to Illinois.

Peterson was arrested on January 1st, 2004, in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines, Illinois, after allegedly trying to rob a bank and kill a police officer with a knife. As we?ve reported, the case in Illinois has been dragging on, preventing Peterson from facing homicide charges here in Clark County.

That?s changed.

Clark County District Attorney Darwin Zwieg tells WCCN/WPKG News that Peterson has reached a plea deal with Illinois state prosecutors.

Originally charged in Illinois with attempted homicide of a police officer and attempted armed robbery, Peterson agreed to plead ?guilty? or ?no contest? to reduced charges of attempted aggravated battery of a police officer and attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to eight years on prison on the first count and five years in prison on the second and credited with serving two years in jail. The sentences will run concurrent, meaning he faces six years of additional prison time.

Zwieg says he?ll be working with the State of Illinois to reach an ?agreement on detainers? that will allow authorities to bring Peterson back to Clark County. Zwieg hopes this can happen in a ?matter of weeks, rather than months?. Once in Clark County, he?ll remain incarcerated at the Clark County Jail until the case against him is complete.

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