Scott Peterson faces a new life imprisonment with his wife’s death in 2002


Sacramento, Calif. (AP) —About 17 years after being sentenced to death, Scott Peterson resented life imprisonment on Wednesday and killed his pregnant wife and fetal son in 2002.

The California Supreme Court ruled a year ago that his jury was improperly examined for prejudice against the death penalty. Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Hradagger, who gained fame as one of the three prosecutors in Peterson’s trial, has now opted for life imprisonment without parole.

Wednesday hearings are expected to be short, but can be emotional. A 27-year-old Laci Peterson’s family statement was eight months pregnant when the couple was killed with a boy who was to be named Connor.

“You’re going to burn in hell for this,” Rashi’s father Dennis Rocha, who died in 2018, yelled at Peterson during his first decision. “Your life is over.”

Up to 16 of her family and friends will be seated in the jury box, and up to 16 of his supporters will be seated elsewhere in the courtroom.

Prosecutors say they expect written or verbal remarks from Rashi’s mother, Sharon Rocha, and her brother and sister, Brent Rocha and Amy Rocha.

Defendant lawyer Pat Harris said Tuesday that Peterson was ready to speak if the judge allowed it.

“This is the first time he has practically talked about the case,” said Harris, who also participated in the original trial. He expects Peterson’s supporters to be in court to show their support, but they are not allowed to speak.

Judge Anne Christine Massullo of the High Court, who resents Peterson, is individually examining whether Peterson is prejudiced by the jury’s misconduct.

But she first chose to resent Peterson, beyond the opposition of his lawyer, to solve the problem of his position.

He has been held in San Quentin State Prison, where he is on death row in California, since he was sentenced to death in March 2005. He was subsequently convicted in November 2004 in a trial that traveled 90 miles (145 km) to San Mateo County. Global promotion.

But Mr. Massaro said he couldn’t stay on death row after the prosecutor said he would never ask for execution. He is then transferred to a county prison for a retrial and is expected to stay there until Massulo decides whether to go to a new trial.

She will hear the defense’s allegations that a woman known as Jury 7 mistakenly answered a question during the selection process during a week-long hearing from February 25th to March 4th.

She said she actively participated in the jury and later co-authored a book on the case. Richelle Nice is not mentioned in court documents, but has co-authored with six other juries.

Attorneys claim she was prejudiced because she was a victim of a crime that she did not reveal during the jury selection. They later learned that she was beaten by her boyfriend in 2001 during her pregnancy. She obtained a detention order from her boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend during another pregnancy because she was afraid of harming her fetus.

In a court filing, Mr. Nice did not consider the detention order to be a proceeding that had to be disclosed in the form of a jury, and “feels” sacrificed “in the way the law defines the term. “

Massullo needs to decide whether Peterson should have a new trial 90 days after next year’s hearing.

According to prosecutors, Peterson took his wife’s body home from Modesto on Christmas Eve in 2002, dumped it from a fishing boat into San Francisco Bay, and launched it on the shore in April 2003.

Defendant lawyers say new evidence indicates a nearby robbery, but investigators say they were excluded as suspects.

A Supreme Court judge said in an August 2020 decision that there was considerable circumstantial evidence overturning his death sentence and accusing Peterson of one murder of Rashi and two murders of Connor. rice field.

It included the corpse being washed ashore near a place where Peterson admitted to fishing on the day he disappeared. He investigated the ocean currents, bought a boat without telling anyone, and couldn’t explain what kind of fish he was trying to catch that day.

Also, a few weeks after Rashi’s disappearance, before the body was washed ashore, he considered selling his wife’s car and selling his house, turning the baby’s nursery into a storage room.

Peterson was finally arrested after Fresno-based massage therapist Amber Frey began dating a month before his wife died, but told police that his wife had died.