SAN FRANCISCO —The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office announced its intent to retry convicted murderer Scott Peterson Friday, October 23 during a 15 minute hearing. The original death sentence was overturned on August 24 of this year by the California Supreme Court.
Peterson was convicted in 2004 for the first-degree murder of his pregnant wife Laci Peterson and second-degree murder of their unborn son. In 2005 the State of California sentenced him to death by lethal injection.
Peterson appeared at the hearing in Modesto remotely via video conference from San Quentin Prison, where he is on death row. Defense attorneys stated they would need two weeks to discuss the motion. Pat Harris assisted previous defense counsel Mark Geragos in the original trial and will act as his defense.
A new court date is set for November 6. Peterson agreed to the new court date by responding to Judge Nancy Leo, saying “yes, your honor” twice twice during the hearing.
The California Supreme Court overturned the original ruling on the grounds of prejudicial misconduct, or an unethical violation by a judge. The habeas corpus recourse law was violated when a juror did not disclose their status as the victim of a crime for which they sought a restraining order. The violation could potentially interfere with a juror’s ability to separate their personal belief from the law.
Laci Peterson was reported missing from her home in Modesto on Christmas Eve in 2002. Four months later on April 13, 2003, the body of her 8 month old fetus washed ashore on the San Francisco Bay. Laci Peterson’s remains were recovered the next day.
Peterson was originally arrested in 2003 during an attempt to flee to the Mexican border with $15,000 in cash. During the trial, prosecutors presented the argument that Peterson brought Laci out on his boat to dispose of the body.
The 2004 movie release of “The Perfect Husband: The Laci Peterson Story” chronicles the nationally publicized story and trial.
A full stream of today’s hearing can be found on the court’s YouTube channel.