Jurors in Scott Peterson Murder Trial Shown Bodies of Laci, Conner
by Steven Ertelt
July 7, 2004
Redwood City, CA (LifeNews.com) — Jurors in the Scott Peterson double-murder trial were shown photos of the decomposed bodies of Laci Peterson and her son Conner during testimony Tuesday.
In addition to witness testimony about the finding of the bodies, jurors heard from investigators that Peterson told police he was not having an affair during the early part of the investigation.
Douglas K. Mansfield of the California Department of Justice told the court that he inquired about other possible love interests during an interview with Peterson on December 25, 2002, the day after Laci disappeared.
"I asked him if there was any problems between them, which he said there was not, and if there were any third parties involved, to which he said there were no third parties involved, there was no other person involved with him or his wife," Mansfield said.
Mark Geragos, Peterson’s defense attorney, pointed out that Peterson was not directly asked about a mistress. According to witnesses last week, Peterson began dating Amber Frey in November 2002.
Mansfield, who said Peterson was cooperative during the three-hour interview, said he did not suspect Peterson at the time.
"I wasn’t looking at him as a suspect, I was looking at him as the husband of a missing person," Mansfield said.
Michael Looby, who discovered the remains of baby Conner while walking his dog along San Francisco bay, took the stand Tuesday, as did Elena Gonzalez, who discovered Laci’s remains the following day.
A “tape-like substance” around the neck of Conner may prove to be pivotal.
Prosecutors say the infant was found among debris washed up by a storm, and the material could have just happened to wrap itself around the boy’s neck. Geragos, in opening statements, said he was going to prove that the child was born before Laci was dumped in the ocean, which would exonerate Peterson, who was watched carefully following his wife’s disappearance.
Laci was eight months pregnant when she disappeared on Christmas Eve 2002.
The prosecution has been attempting to 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.
Geragos claims 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 the double murder charges. The case has 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 as a result of attacking 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.