Scott Peterson’s Own Words Heard for the First Time in Murder Trial

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 23, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson’s Own Words Heard for the First Time in Murder Trial

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
June 23, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — This week jurors heard Scott Peterson’s side in his own words for the first time, as a tape of his interview with a police detective was played for the court Tuesday.

Detective Allen Brocchini, the first detective to investigate the Peterson case, testified that Peterson was "calm, cool, relaxed” while questioned about his whereabouts the day his wife Laci disappeared.

Prosecutors played the videotaped interview, which was almost an hour long, in which Peterson described what took place December 24, 2002.

Peterson said that, when he left, his wife was mopping the floor in their Modesto home, and he expected that she would be walking the dog and baking cookies while he was out. He explained that the purpose of the fishing trip was to test out his new boat, purchased two weeks earlier. Thus, he was not sure what he was trying to catch because catching something had not been his intent.

Prosecutors allege that Peterson used the boat to dump the body of his pregnant wife into the San Francisco Bay that day. They have tried to show that Peterson’s inability to tell investigators what he was trying to catch made his alibi flimsy.

Upon returning home, Peterson told Brocchini, he tossed his clothes in the washer, ate some pizza and took a shower. Showering so soon, said Brocchini, “concerns me the most.”

"What concerns me most is doing anything I can," Peterson replied, apparently referring to locating his wife.

After showering and checking phone messages, he called Laci’s parents to see if they had heard from her. As their scheduled Christmas Eve dinner was nearing, Peterson began to contact friends and neighbors and bean a search for Laci.

On Monday the prosecution had attempted to cast doubt on the defense theory that Laci was kidnapped while walking the couple’s dog. A friend had testified that she was too unsteady to take regular walks with the pet.

Meanwhile, Laci’s prenatal yoga instructor may have gone too far in her testimony, saying that Laci “could barely walk … she was in pain … she needed help getting back to the car.”

As Debra Wolski had not told either side that Laci had been unable to walk prior to taking the stand, Judge Alfred Delucchi informed jurors on Tuesday that prosecution and defense attorneys had agreed to a stipulation, meaning the accuracy of Wolski’s testimony was doubted by both sides, and could mean she had lied on the stand.

In opening statements, the prosecution put forth a case based on Scott Peterson’s erratic behavior, affair, and alleged secret purchase of a fishing boat that could have been used to dump Laci’s body into the San Francisco Bay.

Peterson’s defense attorney, Mark Geragos, has pointed out that the prosecution has no murder weapon, no eyewitnesses, and a case built entirely on circumstantial evidence. He has put forth explanations for Peterson’s strange behavior as well as theories that a satanic cult or men with a tan van abducted Laci on the morning of December 24.

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.

The double murder charges against Peterson have received national attention and spurred the passage of numerous unborn victims laws.

The laws allow prosecutors to charge criminals with two crimes when they kill or injure an unborn child in addition to a pregnant woman.

Laci’s mother, Sharon 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, 30 states have unborn victims laws, most recently Kentucky and Virginia, and 18 cover mothers and their unborn children throughout pregnancy. None of those laws has ever been successfully challenged in Court.