Scott Peterson Attorney Says Info Points to Other Potential Suspects

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 26, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson Attorney Says Info Points to Other Potential Suspects

by Paul Nowak Editor
May 26, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — Scott Peterson’s defense attorney has filed a motion seeking sanctions against prosecutors for withholding information that points at other suspects instead of his client. Peterson is standing trial for the murder of his wife and their unborn son Conner, a case that has received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.

Mark Geragos, Peterson’s attorney, filed a motion Monday alleging misconduct on the part of prosecutors.

"Just last week the prosecution turned over reports disclosing an interview with a witness who saw Laci Peterson being pulled into a van by at least two men," states the motion. This eyewitness, who has been a sworn peace officer, has apparently been known to the prosecution since December of 2002 yet he was only interviewed within the last week.

"The witness confirmed his sighting of a woman he identified as Laci and her two abductors. However, the Modesto Police Department chose to ignore this former peace officer’s report," added Geragos. "This … clearly establishes that the prosecution’s conduct was undertaken in bad faith."

Geragos is seeking to allow Diane Jackson, a neighbor who said she witnessed three men standing near a brown van, testimony that compliments claims from another witness that said they saw three men put Laci in such a van.

Jackson was hypnotized by police, but not by a licensed psychologist – a California legal requirement to make such a testimony admissible in court. Geragos’ motion alleges that prosecutors allowed her to be hypnotized by an unlicensed professional "knowing that in so doing, she will become technically unavailable" as a witness.

In February, Judge Alfred Delucci barred testimony from another witness, Kristen Dempewolf, who was also hypnotized by the same former sheriff’s deputy and clinical psychologist, Dale Pennington.

Chief Deputy District Attorney John Goold, refused to comment on the allegations, due to a gag order on those involved in the case.

"We’ll deal with that in court when the time comes," Goold said.

Scott has pleaded innocent to charges that he murdered his wife on Christmas Eve 2002, when she was eight months pregnant, and dumped her body into San Francisco Bay. Her body and that of her son Conner washed up on the California coast in April.

Laci’s mother, Susan Rocha, has become and outspoken advocate of Unborn Victims Laws, both for individual states and the entire nation.

President Bush signed a federal Unborn Victims of Violence Law in March. Rocha had voiced her support of the bill, and had criticized members of the Senate, including presidential hopeful John Kerry, who had stalled and opposed the bill.

According to the National Right to Life Committee, 29 states have unborn victims laws, most recently Kentucky, and 17 cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy. None of those laws has ever been successfully challenged in Court.