Scott Peterson trial: San Mateo County judge to soon decide on fate of new trial

Scott Peterson Trial

REDWOOD CITY (KRON) – It appears March 12 is the likely date a San Mateo County judge will make a decision on whether Scott Peterson will be awarded a new trial, KRON4’s Amy Larson reports.

It was announced Thursday during Peterson’s hearing in San Mateo County that the judge would decide if Peterson would get a new trial for the guilt phase.

This would mean new witnesses and new evidence would be used for the trial.

Peterson is already scheduled to return to court on April 27 for a hearing on the penalty side of the case.

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During Thursday’s hearing, Peterson appeared via livestream from death row at San Quentin State Prison.

When asked by the judge if he would prefer to remain on death row, Peterson’s attorney said yes and that Peterson does not want to be transferred to the San Mateo County jail.

Peterson was convicted in 2004 for killing his pregnant wife Laci Peterson and their unborn son Conner.

Peterson has always maintained his innocence, and he plans to prove it.

Courtroom sketch courtesy: Vicki Behringer

One of the most compelling new witnesses, according to one source who asked to be anonymous, will be Dr. Phillipe Jeanty.

Dean Johnson, a former San Mateo County prosecutor who closely follows the Peterson case, explained the significance of Dr. Jeanty.

“Dr. Jeanty invented a protocol for estimating — if you have a stillborn child — for estimating how old the fetus was,” Johnson said. “How long the fetus had been in the mother’s womb. He invented this protocol. A prosecution witness testified, based on allegedly the Jeanty protocol, that Scott’s unborn son, Conner, was a certain age.”

Peterson’s writ of habeas corpus states that if Dr. Jeanty’s formula was used correctly, it shows that Conner died on January 3, which is 11 days after prosecutor’s witnesses claimed Conner died.

“If that is true, then Scott Peterson is stone-cold innocent,” Johnson said.

In a case that drew major media attention, Laci Peterson went missing on Christmas Eve in 2002 and her body was later found in the San Francisco Bay. The body of Peterson’s unborn baby, Connor, was also found nearby.

Peterson said he had gone fishing at the Berkeley Marina when she vanished. His attorneys are going to try to prove that Laci and Connor died sometime after he left their Modesto home on Christmas Eve to go fishing.

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