REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KRON) — A woman who served on the Scott Peterson murder trial jury is demanding immunity to protect herself against self-incrimination, court documents revealed.
Richelle Nice has been summoned to testify at Peterson’s upcoming hearing. The hearing will decide if Peterson gets a whole new murder trial.
Peterson has served 16 years on Death Row in San Quentin State Prison for the murder of his pregnant wife, Laci. His next court date is set for Wednesday.
Court documents filed in San Mateo County Court on Sept. 17 by Peterson’s attorneys show that Nice plans to plead the fifth if she is not granted immunity.
Stanislaus County District Attorney Birgit Fladager blasted Peterson for going on a “witch hunt” against the juror.
Nice hired a new defense attorney, Geoffrey Carr, who was the lead defense attorney for another very high-profile murder case in the same county courthouse.
Carr gained notoriety when he successfully defended Tiffany Li, also known as the “Hillsborough heiress.” In 2019, a jury found Li not guilty of murdering her ex-boyfriend, Keith Green.
Li’s co-defendant, Kaveh Bayat, also emerged from the trial with his freedom because the jury deadlocked 6-6. The verdicts stunned many trial observers because of a mountain of evidence piled against Li and Bayat.
Prosecutors said Li wanted to get rid of Green after she became involved in a love triangle and felt bitter from Green repeatedly asking her for money. Green was the father of Li’s two young daughters. Li lured Green to her Hillsborough mansion and Bayat pulled the trigger, according to prosecutors.
Whether or not you believe Peterson is a cold-blooded killer, every person has a right to a fair trial.
He has a team of investigators who keep digging up more and more evidence that they say proves Nice was a “stealth juror.”
Nice, who was nicknamed “Strawberry Shortcake” for her flaming red hair, is accused of lying during jury selection to cover up her past experience as a domestic abuse victim.
Like Laci, Nice was pregnant when she was victimized, Peterson’s defense attorney, Pat Harris, said. But during jury selection, Nice said she had never been the victim of a crime.
Carr confirmed to KRON4 Monday that he has been appointed as Nice’s new defense attorney. He declined to release more information about Nice possibly exercising her Fifth Amendment rights.
“At this point we are not in a position where that would be an appropriate thing for me to comment on publicly,” Carr said.
An evidentiary hearing will be held in a couple of months. If Superior Court Judge Christine Massullo rules Nice committed juror misconduct, Peterson’s conviction will be overturned, triggering a retrial.
Harris said if Peterson gets a retrial, the defense team has enough evidence to prove he did not murder his wife. Harris said Laci’s real killers were burglars who targeted a neighbor’s house on Christmas Eve of 2002, the same day Laci vanished from their Modesto neighborhood.
Peterson has always maintained his innocence.
“He’s innocent. It’s time to get him out,” Harris said.
If Nice is not granted immunity and remains silent on the witness stand, her own words could be used against her in written forms. Nice wrote dozens of prison letters to Peterson asking him to confess to the crimes he was convicted of.
In one prison letter Nice wrote to Peterson, “Your beautiful wife washed ashore…and YOU robbed her & your beautiful son of a life with each other and the rest of the family who loved and cared about them so much! What pushed you so far to the limit, where you felt that you needed to kill someone?”