Hearing Begins in Murder Trial of Laci and Conner Peterson

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 30, 2003   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Hearing Begins in Murder Trial of Laci and Conner Peterson

by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
October 30, 2003

Modesto, CA (LifeNews.com) — At a hearing this week to determine if Scott Peterson will stand trial for the murder of his wife, Laci and their unborn child, both sides began to reveal their strategies and evidence.

Prosecutors began presenting evidence they say points to Scott Peterson as responsible for their deaths.

A single strand of hair found stuck to pliers in Scott’s fishing boat was similar to a sample from Laci’s mother. The resemblance is significant, FBI lab supervisor Constance L. Fisher testified, because the mitochondrial DNA matched. The analysis of mitochondrial DNA could match only one of 112 Caucasians and two of 159 Hispanics, and is passed from mother to daughter.

However, Scott Peterson’s attorney Mark Geragos contested the evidence, claiming the method’s reliability is unknown.

Prosecutors also mentioned they may bring the Petersons’ housekeeper, Laci’s parents, and Amber Frey, Scott’s mistress, to testify at the hearing. Frey, who was having an affair with Scott Peterson prior to the murder of his wife, cooperated with police when she heard that her boyfriend was a suspect in his wife’s murder.

Scott Peterson has been held without bail since his arrest for his wife’s murder. After four months of searching, the decomposed bodies of Laci and Conner were washed up on the shore of the San Francisco bay.

The case has been the subject of national attention, and has spurred the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, also called "Laci and Conner’s Law." Pro-abortion groups oppose the law, stating that as Conner was unborn, Laci is the only victim of the crime.

A Newsweek poll following the Petereson case found that 84% of the respondents agreed there were two victims, and only 9% believed there was just one.

Laci’s family support the law to allow prosecutors to hold criminals accountable for killing or injuring both mother and unborn child.

Sharon Rocha, Laci Peterson’s mother, in a letter to pro-abortion Senator John Kerry (D-MA) dated July 7, writes, "adoption of such a single-victim proposal would be a painful blow to those, like me, who are left to grieve after a two-victim crime, because Congress would be saying that Conner and other innocent victims like him are really not victims — indeed that they never existed at all."

If the judge conducting the hearings this week believes there is enough evidence, Scott Peterson will stand trial for his wife’s murder. If convicted, prosecutors have stated they will seek the death penalty.

Scott Peterson’s family was present, still wearing yellow and blue lapel pins to signify the ribbons worn during the search for Laci Peterson. The yellow represented the mother, the blue the son to be called Conner.