Scott Peterson – who murdered his wife and unborn child in 2002 – loses new trial bid and will remain behind bars for the rest of his life
- Laci Peterson, who was eight months pregnant, disappeared on Christmas Eve
- Her husband, Scott, was initially sentenced to death for her murder
- That sentence was overturned in November 2020 – he maintains his innocence
- His attorneys claimed his conviction was compromised by a biased juror
- It was ruled that the juror in question made mistakes, but didn’t lie
A man convicted for the 2002 murder of his wife and unborn child will not get a new trial, a judge ruled Tuesday.
Scott Peterson will remain behind bars for the rest of his life, after his request for a new trial on the grounds that his conviction was compromised by a biased juror was tossed out. He was convicted in 2004.
Judge Anne-Christine Massullo ruled that the juror in question acted not out of wrongdoing but out of emotion brought on by the proceedings.
Peterson’s attorney called the ruling ‘disappointing’ in a statement to Fox News Digital.
‘Just in the last few months, we have learned new information that will prove Scott Peterson did not murder his wife, Laci. And we are going to continue to push forward until he is freed,’ he said.
‘As for the ruling, the judge does concede that Juror #7 committed misconduct but excuses that misconduct by writing that her background, her contentious relationship with her boyfriend and her frequent memory lapses are all excuses for her misconduct. We respectfully disagree.’
Scott Peterson was denied a request for a retrial after arguing a juror in his 2004 conviction was biased against him
Attorneys for Peterson said the juror, Richelle Nice, was actively biased against Peterson and had lied on her juror questionnaire in order to gain access to the trial.
Prosecution, however, argued that she had merely made errors answering some of the 163 questions on the 23-page document.
‘She’s inconsistent on her answers,’ said prosecutor David Harris in court. ‘But being wrong does not necessarily make it false or make her a liar. It just might be that she’s really bad at filling out forms.’
Nice said she had no bias against Peterson until she heard the evidence against him in the trial.
Peterson’s 27-year-old, pregnant wife Laci vanished on Christmas Eve 2002. Her mutilated body was found later in the San Francisco Bay
Scott Peterson appears in a California courtroom in February 2002
Laci disappeared aged 27 on Christmas Eve in 2002. She was eight months pregnant with the couple’s son and they had been married for five years.
Days after she vanished, her mutilated body washed up on the shore of the San Francisco Bay.
Prosecutors said Peterson wanted to escape married life and did not want the responsibility of becoming a father, so allegedly killed her in their home. He then dumped her body – and that of the baby she was carrying – from his boat.
A statement from Peterson’s attorney Pat Harris. Defense insists Peterson is innocent
Peterson was initially sentenced to death, but that sentence was overturned in November 2020.
He has always maintained his innocence. Some of his relatives, like his brother’s wife, support him.
One said in November, when his sentence was overturned: ‘We still need justice for Laci, Connor and Scott.
‘We don’t have justice for Laci with Scott on death row, because Scott is innocent.’
Prosecutors said Peterson killed Laci to escape married life and fatherhood
Peterson and Laci on their wedding day in 1997. He murdered her and their unborn child in 2002
But his own sister called him a ‘sociopath’ in a 2021 interview on with Dr. Oz.
‘I don’t know why he did this. Laci was the sweetest, kindest person, so I just don’t understand it.’
‘We miss her all the time. We’ve been robbed of her presence.
‘His upbringing… I don’t know if it had something to do with it. I’m not a doctor but I believe in sociopathy and I believe he’s a sociopath,’ she said.