Scott Peterson Double Murder Trial Delayed Due to "Potential Development"

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 19, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Scott Peterson Double Murder Trial Delayed Due to "Potential Development" Email this article
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by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
August 19, 2004

Redwood City, CA ( — The much-anticipated cross-examination of Scott Peterson’s mistress was delayed Wednesday, due to a "potential development" in the Peterson double-murder trial.

After a 45-minute meeting with attorneys behind closed doors, Judge Alfred A. Delucchi informed the courtroom of the delay.

"There’s been a potential development in this case that has to be checked out before we can go any further," he told the jury.

The trial is scheduled to resume with the cross-examination of Amber Frey on Monday.

On Tuesday, jurors heard the last of several recorded phone conversations between Frey and Peterson following his wife’s disappearance. For five days, the court listened to a selection of the 300 conversations Frey recorded with the help of Modesto, California police.

On Tuesday, Judge Delucchi ruled that the defense team could not ask Frey about any other lovers, except those specifically mentioned on the tapes played for jurors. At least one other relationship with a married man was mentioned.

Outside the courtroom, CourtTV reported that Sharon Rocha, Laci’s mother, accused her son-in-law of murdering his wife as soon as she heard about his affair with Frey, which was leaked in the National Enquirer.

"You killed my daughter, didn’t you?" Rocha asked, angrily.

"No, I didn’t, Mom," Peterson said.

"Stop lying. I’m tired of your lies," Rocha responded.

Laci’s family heard about the affair from Modesto police, who told the family after they learned the affair was going to be leaked by the Enquirer.

"Since you’ve managed to lose all of my confidence in you, what I want to know is where’s my daughter at, Scott?" Rocha demanded, according to the transcript obtained by CourtTV.

"I wish I knew, Mom," Peterson said. "I wish I knew where she is."

Despite Peterson’s repeated claims of innocence, Rocha continued to accuse him.

"You make me sick, Scott," Rocha said. "Tell me where Laci is. I want to be able to bury my daughter. Now tell me what you did with her."

The prosecution has been putting 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, 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, and attacked investigators for doing sloppy work and focusing on Peterson exclusively.

Scott Peterson 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 returned to Washington from the campaign trial to vote against 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.