Scott Peterson, Convicted Murderer Of Pregnant Wife, Appears With New Appearance In Court As He Seeks Release

Scott Peterson, a California killer, came to court on Tuesday with new counsel, seeking to overturn his 2004 conviction for the murders of his pregnant wife, Laci, and their unborn child, a crime he claims he did not commit.

Peterson, 51, appeared in court electronically from Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, wearing a blue button-down shirt and requesting permission to attend remotely in future trials.

He was initially sentenced to death for the killings, and while the sentence was eventually reversed, his previous appeals for a new trial have been unsuccessful.

Peterson, whose appearance has altered several times in the two decades he has been in prison, exchanged his slicked hair and salt-and-pepper beard for a clean shave and a short ponytail.

Key Evidence Against Scott Peterson:

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  1. Peterson was having an affair with a woman named Amber Frey, who testified against him and cooperated with law enforcement.
  2. Frey told police in April 2003 that Peterson told her his wife was dead a month before she actually went missing.
  3. In recorded calls, he told her he didn’t want to be a father and was considering a vasectomy, according to court documents.
  4. Peterson, who lived in Modesto at the time of the murders, told police he was fishing in Berkeley the day his wife disappeared.
  5. Her remains and the remains of their son, Conner, were discovered in San Francisco Bay.
  6. Prosecutors maintained the Medina burglary, across the street from the Peterson home, happened on Dec. 26, after Laci Peterson was already missing.
  7. Peterson had bleached his hair blonde and was carrying $10,000 cash and his brother’s passport near the Mexico border when he was arrested after Frey came forward.

The hearing focused primarily on the scheduling of several impending hearings, including motions to seal papers, new DNA testing, and post-conviction discovery.

The judge scheduled a hearing on Peterson’s motion to seal on April 16, followed by the DNA hearings on May 29 and July 15 for discovery.

Peterson and his supporters have long focused on individuals who reportedly broke into a house across the street from his, claiming they could have killed his wife.

The Los Angeles Innocence Project indicated in January that it would seek further DNA testing on a hammer tied to a burglary across the street from the Peterson residence, as well as a stained mattress discovered in a burned-out truck parked less than a mile away.

His move for discovery contains material related to the alleged Medina burglary, the van fire, and information on eyewitnesses who claimed to have seen Laci Peterson after December 24, 2003, the day she was reported missing.

While Peterson had previously voiced concerns about juror misconduct and the possibility that the thieves abducted and murdered his wife, the new appeal is based on conducting additional DNA testing on the mattress using modern technology.

“The Los Angeles Innocence Project filed motions in January asking the Court to order further evidence discovery and allow new DNA testing to support our investigation into Mr. Peterson’s claim of actual innocence,” the Innocence Project stated in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Today’s hearing was simply the beginning of a long process. We have not responded to our motions and will continue to present our position in court, where it should be decided.”

Peterson was first sentenced to death, but after an appeal, his sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole in 2020.

His time in state jail started in March 2005.

Peterson has always maintained his innocence.

His attorney, Paula Mitchell of the Los Angeles Innocence Project, wrote to the court that she compiled over 40,000 pages of evidence while evaluating his case before asking for additional discovery from the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s office.

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