Scott Peterson, who killed his wife and unborn son in 2002, remotely appeared in a California courtroom on Tuesday in regards to his 2005 death sentence, which was overturned in August.
KNTV reported that Peterson, 48, who was on death row at San Quentin State Prison for 17 years, appeared in court via Zoom. During Tuesday’s hearing, a judge approved a motion giving Peterson’s attorneys 60 days to provide the San Mateo District Attorney with a discovery request in connection with a possible sentencing retrial.
KCRA reported that the judge also gave prosecutors until June 25 to complete in-person interviews, which they claimed were delayed due to COVID restrictions. A court hearing was scheduled for June 21.
Scott Peterson’s wife, Laci, 27, vanished on Christmas Eve 2002 — a month before she was due to give birth to a boy named Conner. Prosecutors said he strangled or suffocated his pregnant wife before wrapping her in a tarp, fastening her to anchors, and dropping her in the San Francisco Bay.
Four months later, a couple passing by found Conner Peterson’s body washed ashore. Conner’s umbilical cord was attached to his body. The following day, another passerby discovered a badly decomposed body wearing a maternity bra and beige pants. The body was subsequently identified as Laci.
Scott Peterson — who claimed he was fishing in Berkeley when his pregnant wife vanished — was ultimately arrested in San Diego County with $15,000 in cash in his possession. Before his arrest, a massage therapist went to police claiming she was in a relationship with Peterson, who said his wife had died. She then covertly recorded her phone calls with him for the police.
Scott Peterson was convicted of his wife’s first-degree murder and his unborn son’s second-degree murder. While the California Supreme Court overturned his death sentence in August, they upheld his 2004 murder convictions.
The state’s highest court found that the juror selection process was flawed, resulting in Scott Peterson receiving an impartial jury at the penalty phase of his trial. Specifically, the state’s highest court found that prospective jurors who said they opposed capital punishment but were willing to impose it were wrongfully dismissed.
According to Today, prosecutors previously said they would seek the death penalty again if Scott Peterson was granted a retrial for the penalty phase of his trial.
Scott Peterson also has a pending petition for habeas corpus, which can introduce new evidence to prove a conviction or sentence was wrong.
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[Featured image: Scott Peterson/California Department of Corrections]