Laci Peterson’s Family Files Civil Lawsuit Against Scott Peterson in Killings

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 9, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Laci Peterson’s Family Files Civil Lawsuit Against Scott Peterson in Killings

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 9
, 2008

Modesto, CA ( — The family of Laci Peterson has filed a civil lawsuit against Scott Peterson, her husband and father of her unborn child Conner. In 2003, Scott was convicted of killing both Laci and Conner and dumping their bodies in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve 2002.

Laci’s parents Dennis and Sharon Rocha filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Peterson seeking a multi-million dollar judgement against him.

The lawsuit is an effort to make sure Peterson never makes any money by selling the rights to his story to the media for a movie, book or other method.

Peterson pleaded innocent to the charges, which included two counts of murder thanks to a California unborn victims law that holds criminals accountable when they kill or injure an unborn child in an attack on his mother.

According to an AP report, Peterson’s defense attorney Nareg Gourjian referred to a videotape Peterson made saying he is innocent. He says he is a victim of a shoddy investigation by Modest police that made him appear guilty.

In the videotaped deposition, according to the Modesto Bee newspaper, Peterson used his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination more than 195 times to avoid answering questions.

Knowing he will not be transported to the court to appear in person to defend himself in the case, he acknowledged the videotape was a chance to set the record straight on what happened.

In the tape, the newspaper indicated Peterson talked about his grief as losing his wife and unborn baby.

"I love my wife," Peterson said. "I love my son. I will always love them. I have always loved them. I should be able to hug them right now. I should be able to hold my son."

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne ruled after the hearing that Peterson would have to stand trial in the civil case but stayed the ruling until June 23 to allow defense attorneys a chance to appeal.

A trial in the case is slated to begin July 8.

Part of the case will revolve around whether the trial will focus solely on monetary issues or if the Rochas will have to prove whether Peterson, in fact, killed Laci and Conner.

Judge Beauchesne’s ruling indicated the guilty verdict and conviction was not sufficient to prevent the Rochas from having to prove Scott killed his wife and eight-month-old unborn child.

Scott Peterson received a sentence of the death penalty following the criminal trial.