Drew Peterson Trial: Alleged Wife-Killer Returns To Court, Gets New Judge (VIDEO)

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After nearly two years of trial delays, former Bolingbrook police sergeant Drew Peterson returned to court Friday.

Peterson appeared in a Will County courtroom Friday morning for a status hearing -- the first step toward a trial that could take place as early as next month, the Associated Press reports.

Peterson was dressed in a blue jail jumpsuit Friday as Judge Edward Burmila was assigned to his case, the Chicago Tribune reports. Judge Stephen White, who had originally presided over the case, has retired since the long-delayed case began.

Joel Brodsky, Peterson's attorney, previously told CBS Chicago the hearing marks a brief outing for his client, who has been in jail on $20 million bail for three years, since he was charged with killing Kathleen Savio, his third wife. Peterson is also the sole suspect in the 2007 disappearance of Stacy Person, his fourth wife, but has not been charged.

"He gets to get driven a block-and-a-half from the jail. He gets to enjoy his block-and-a-half trip in the back of the van," Brodsky told the station Thursday. "He’ll be happy just to see the process rolling again."

Patch previously reported that the Peterson trial will not begin until May 17 at the absolute earliest, but that it is more likely to begin in June or July, according to CBS.

Last week, Peterson chose not to appeal an appellate court's recent decision to allow for prosecutors' hearsay evidence -- statements reportedly made by Savio before her death -- to be considered in his case. Essentially, Savio will be allowed to testify from beyond the grave.

Peterson is due to return to court on May 17, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.