Scott Peterson’s Defense Team Again Seeks Mistrial, Citing Perjury

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 16, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson’s Defense Team Again Seeks Mistrial, Citing Perjury

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
July 16, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — Scott Peterson’s defense attorney has again asked for a mistrial, this time based on evidence that a lead investigator in the double-murder investigation lied on the stand.

Last month, Detective Allen Brocchini testified that he did not give much consideration to a tip from an anonymous caller who claimed to be a friend of Scott Peterson’s. In a conversation with Brocchini shortly after Peterson was arrested, the tipster allegedly said the Peterson had remarked how he would dispose of a body if he committed a murder.

Brocchini had testified that the tipster had mentioned that Peterson would wrap the body in plastic with duct tape around the neck and limbs, so that fish activity would cause only the torso to surface, preventing identification. The manner described by the tipster was similar to how prosecutors allege Laci Peterson’s body was dumped in the San Francisco bay.

However, a source who heard Brocchini’s conversation with the tipster told the Associated Press that the tipster never mentioned duct tape, which implies Brocchini lied on the stand to make the tip sound more like the prosecution’s theory.

While Judge Alfred A. Delucchi has denied the defense’s previous two requests for a mistrial, he has set July 29 date for a hearing of defense arguments for a mistrial.

Even if the mistrial is not granted, the revelation is a blow to the prosecutions case and credibility of Brocchini. Brocchini’s testimony in another case, a 1998 home invasion and burglary case, resulted in a mistrial after it was ruled his comments on the stand prejudiced jurors.

On Thursday Modesto Detective Henry Hendee testified about searches of San Francisco bay, after Laci and Conner Peterson’s bodies washed ashore in April 2003. Despite thorough searches, investigators found no evidence linking Peterson to the bay.

While no anchors, which the police theorized Peterson used to weigh the body of his wife down, were found, defense attorney Mark Geragos asked Hendee about a homemade concrete anchor and pitcher found elsewhere that police thought would be incriminating.

However, the anchor was to small and was not the shape of the pitcher police had claimed Peterson used as a mold.

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.