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  #1  
Old 11-12-2004, 03:35 PM
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Default Peterson Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

Peterson Found Guilty of First Degree Murder

Scott Peterson has been found guilty of first degree murder in the death of his pregnant wife Laci. He was also found guilty of second degree murder in the death of his unborn son, Conner.

Peterson, 32, could get the death penalty. The former fertilizer salesman was convicted of one count of first-degree murder for killing his wife, Laci, and one count of second-degree murder in the death of the son she was carrying.

Peterson stared straight ahead as the verdict was read, then looked at each of the jurors as they were polled to confirm their decisions. The jurors looked serious and unsmiling, and none appeared to look back at Peterson. Outside court, cheers broke out among the hundreds of onlookers who gathered to hear word of the verdict.

The verdict came after a five-month trial that was an endless source of fascination to the tabloids, People magazine and the cable networks with its story of an attractive, radiant young couple awaiting the birth of their first child, a cheating husband, and a slaying for which prosecutors had no eyewitnesses, no weapon, not even a cause of death.

The verdict followed a tumultuous seven days of deliberations in which two jurors were removed for unspecified reasons and the judge twice told the panel to start over.

The jury of six men and six women were told to return Nov. 22 to begin hearing testimony on whether Peterson should die by lethal injection or get life in prison without parole.

Laci Peterson, a 27-year-old substitute teacher, was eight months pregnant when she vanished around Christmas Eve 2002. Four months later, her headless body and the remains of her fetus were discovered along the shoreline about 90 miles from the couple's Modesto home -- not far from where her husband claims he was fishing alone the day of her disappearance.

Peterson was soon arrested in the San Diego area, more than 400 miles from home, carrying nearly $15,000, his hair and goatee bleached blond.

Police never were able to establish exactly when, how or where Laci died.

At trial, prosecutors presented 174 witnesses and hundreds of pieces of evidence, from wiretapped phone calls to videotaped police interrogations, depicting Peterson as a liar and a philanderer who was sweet-talking his girlfriend, massage therapist Amber Frey, at the same time he was trying to show the world he was pining for his missing wife.

Prosecutor Rick Distaso told the jury that Peterson could not stand the thought of being trapped in a "dull, boring, married life with kids," and either strangled or smothered his wife and dumped her weighted-down body overboard from his fishing boat.

"He wants to live the rich, successful, freewheeling bachelor life. He can't do that when he's paying child support, alimony and everything else," Distaso said. "He didn't want to be tied to this kid the rest of his life. He didn't want to be tied to Laci for the rest of his life. So he killed her."

The jury heard how Peterson had bought a two-day ocean-fishing license days before Laci disappeared, yet claimed his fishing trip was a last-minute substitution for golf because of blustery weather. Prosecutors also offered evidence suggesting he used a bag of cement mix to make concrete anchors to sink his wife's body into the bay.

Peterson never took the stand. His lawyers argued that he was the victim of a frame-up. They suggested that someone else -- perhaps homeless people, sex offenders or suspicious-looking characters spotted in the neighborhood -- abducted Laci while she walked the dog, then killed her and dumped the body in the water after learning of Peterson's fishing-trip alibi.

Peterson's lawyers also offered evidence that the fetus may have died days or weeks after Laci's disappearance, when Scott was being watched closely by the police and the media.

And they explained his lies and inconsistent statements about his affair and his activities around the time of Laci's disappearance as the mutterings of a man in the midst of a breakdown over his missing wife.

Defense attorney Mark Geragos acknowledged the jurors probably hated Peterson, and pleaded with them not to convict him simply because the prosecution had made him look like a "jerk and a liar."

Geragos also noted the lingering questions about how Laci died. "Maybe the logical explanation for the fact that we have no evidence of her struggling in that house, dying in that house is because it didn't happen in that house," he said.

In addition, Geragos said police found that someone had used a computer in the Petersons' home on the morning Laci vanished -- after authorities contend Laci was already dead -- to search Web sites for a scarf and a sunflower-motif umbrella stand. He suggested the user was Laci.

The story proved irresistible to the cable networks, which almost every night brought in experts to pick apart the two sides' legal strategies and expound on some of the soap opera aspects of the case, which included hours of secretly taped calls in which Peterson spun out elaborate tales to Frey.

Frey herself testified, saying that Peterson told her during their affair that he had "lost his wife." But she said that in all their recorded conversations, he repeatedly professed his love for his wife and never said anything to incriminate himself in her slaying.

In January, the case was moved from Modesto to Redwood City after defense attorneys argued Peterson had been demonized in his hometown to the point that he couldn't get a fair trial.

The verdict came after about eight hours of deliberation by the final 12 jurors.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2004, 03:46 PM
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Wow - I didn't know this til just now. Thank you for updating us. I haven't followed it as closely as some. Sounds like the jury had a difficult and stressful time. I feel for them as jury duty sucks! All those opinions in one room! I'm glad they came to a conclusion, though, and it sounds as if they felt they had come to the right one.
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:51 PM
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Thanks for posting this, Kyla. I tried to log onto Court TV this morning and the server was too busy- I thought there must have been a verdict.

Although I always felt he was guilty (Lots of circumstantial evidence), I really didn't think there was enough physical evidence to convict him...thankfully the jurors felt differently.

I am hoping he gets LWOP- the Death Penalty is never an option as far as I am concerned. This has been an awful time for both families, I pray now that the trial is over, the healing can begin.
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:53 PM
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I have followed this case pretty close and have listened to tons of audio on this and IMO he is guilty of this crime. I think he planned every detail of this to get away with it.

However because he did this so well its my opinion that they lacked physical evidence. I know that they have convitcted on less then what they had here, but I really expected a hung jury.

As much as I do think he did it and as much as I hate him for many reasons right now I dont wish the DP on him for several reasons.

This trial was a zoo and IMO this is certainly not the end of SP. There are several grounds for appeal and we will hear about this for a long time
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Old 11-12-2004, 03:54 PM
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Not all murders are "messy!" They did the absolute right thing. I don't think California will ever let someone get away with murder like OJ did!

I have renewed faith in the justice system. I have had no doubts, at all, of this man's guilt. He's a sociopath and if he didn't want a wife and a child, then he could have left her. She had plenty of family support to raise that child on her own and wonderful enough to land a man who would have loved her and treated her and her child with love and respect.

Read her Guestbook, its blown up since the announcment!
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:13 PM
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I know everyone is allowed their own opinion, but I don't think he is guilty. They kept removing the jurors that thought that also. They also didn't want to spend another weekend locked in a hotel, thats why they agreed on the guilty verdict. Just my thoughts. maybe they will charge him with the other cases like his, that I have heard about during this trial, maybe they won't.
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:17 PM
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Lets not ever forget that his family may find PTO one day and come to us for the support and understanding that we give! I hope that BOTHh familes can start putting some of this behind them and get on with thier lives.
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:18 PM
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I believe with no doubt in my mind he did it........
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:19 PM
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The woman that was removed before the foreman was doing her own research and investigation on the internet - meaning she's considering things that weren't presented at the trial. That's a BIG NO NO
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:07 PM
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Yes, but how much evidence was not allowed at trial?? Seriously, and I am undecided on his guilt or innocence (rare for me), but the Judge ruled on A LOT of things that clearly were for the prosecution and may have shed more light on areas of the case the jurors should have known about.

Think about this... The head juror, who is not only a lawyer but a doctor was given the boot in addition to the female juror who accessed outside information. To me, this seems pretty significant as he would know not only about rules of procedure, the games lawyers play, but he would know much more than the average person/juror about the medical evidence (or lack thereof) presented.

3 Jurors were yanked before this was over... If nothing else, I bet all of you 5 that there will be a new trial sooner or later... Too much to appeal on and plenty of $$ backing it..

I've posted in the past about how much a judge can control the court room. I think all evidence within reason should always be heard. I also don't like all the secret back room meetings that nobody knows the details of yet..
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:16 PM
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I think he is guilty and my prayers go out to both his family and Laci's family. Like Pooh said he could have left her.
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katmat1995
I believe with no doubt in my mind he did it........
Just curious, but why? Because of what Gloria Alred and the media has said?
I'm sorry but none of us here really know the real details... I'm not sure how much the jury even knows...

Most of us have had to deal with the "justice system" which often leads to prison. How many times have innocent people been sent to prison because a judge would not permit evidence that would have exonerated that person?

Again, if I had to think about all of this at length and weigh just what the media and everyone else has said, I would lean guilty, but I damn sure would never convict him on what I know...
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:27 PM
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Actually I am more convinced that someone is guilty of jury tampering than I am of his guilt or innocence. My gut says that he is guilty but a jury is not supposed to rule on “gut instinct” only on evidence and facts. I agree with Fed X. This will absolutely be appealed.
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:47 PM
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Cracknegg,

I agree with you wholeheartedly!!!

IMO juries should convict on facts and evidence not public sentiment and emotion.
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahna
I know everyone is allowed their own opinion, but I don't think he is guilty. They kept removing the jurors that thought that also. They also didn't want to spend another weekend locked in a hotel, thats why they agreed on the guilty verdict. Just my thoughts. maybe they will charge him with the other cases like his, that I have heard about during this trial, maybe they won't.
It's a REALLY nice hotel. My mom's there for a seminar right now
They won't charge him with other cases, just this one.
Now he faces the death penalty.
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:02 PM
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Every trial that I have followed makes me sick to my stomach. This one has red flags all over it with the dismissal of the foreman, and the judge's chamber secret meetings. Fedex got it right. I am not sure if the man is guilty or innocent but the procedure smells. Due process out the window and on top, it is all over the media open to intepretation. Peace, that is, if you can have after knowing that this kind of thing is going on!!!
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:03 PM
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I bet there is another trial also, because you know his Attorney started that appeal this afternoon.
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:08 PM
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We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any other in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding 12 everyday men who don't know anything and can't read.

Samuel L. Clemmons
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:09 PM
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This case disturbed me so much (seeing as it is near where i live, hubby was in Redwood City jail when he got locked up). I don't think he is guilty, but I don't know for sure. I guess no one will ever know for sure.......
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cracknegg
We have a criminal jury system which is superior to any other in the world; and its efficiency is only marred by the difficulty of finding 12 everyday men who don't know anything and can't read.

Samuel L. Clemmons
Yes, we sure do have the best court system but the efficiency can also be part of the problem....
Another thing is there is rarely such a thing as an impartial judge, jury or anything else for that matter. That would take a machine that has no opinion or experience..

The part that I dislike more than anything is that a judge can call pretty much anything out of bounds, which is complete BS in my book. By a judge not allowing a piece of evidence, witness or piece of history, he is guiding a trial. A jury can only use what they know, and how many times have I see interviews of jurors who voted to convict the person now sitting on death row or in prisons across America who later say, "I would have NEVER convicted this man/woman if I had only known that...".

On the flip side of this, I think that some evidence thrown out on a technicality that saves a murderer, rapist or child molester (etc) from going to prison also is BS..

Yup... You can almost bet there will be another trial on this one.. Guilty, Innocent or just stupid...
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:35 PM
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I am glad that he was founded Guilty I am sorry but for a husband to murder his wife and unborn child needs the DP. I hope he gets it too. But thats my opinion I am sorry but when she went missing I was pregnant with my son. I have followed this story and I am glad that everyone saw him Guilty! I feel bad for his family and also Laci's but ya know you did da crime ya pay da time! Plus he didn't even show any emotion when they read the verdit so obiously he is gulity I mean if he wasnt I would of been showing some kind of emotion.
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Old 11-12-2004, 06:56 PM
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I too think he is guilty. As far as the dismissing of the juror's, the female was dismissed for good reason, investigating things on her own. The foreman asked to be removed. I dont think the judge had anything to do with what went on regarding the jurors. I am glad this is over, well until appeal anyway....
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Old 11-12-2004, 07:16 PM
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Crenshaw's made an excellent point, juror's are only to come to a finding based on the evidence presented in trial not extranious "investigating". That being said, the dismissal of these jurors leaves the door wide open for an appeal, whether jury tampering in this case is factual or as in my case just opinion, I will bet that will be one of the basis for an appeal.
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Old 11-12-2004, 07:30 PM
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Part of me thinks he is guilty but part of me thinks he is innocent. But I feel sorry for Laci, Conner, Both sides of the family and I am going to say it..... Scott. I don't know . When I heard the verdict I wanted to cry. See My boyfriend is going through something similar-- and I kept thinking about what if Scott was really innocent.He has lost the rest of his life. Yes I know Laci and Conner lost their life too-- and my heart crys for them. Oh I don't know. This case stirred so much feelings in me that I dont understand. I still cant get over it. I have been following this case from the beginning and Part of me wants him to pay for what he has done, but then that nice part of me asks two questions--- Were you there when Laci was Killed? Did you see it happen? When I answer no- I tell myself that he might be telling the truth. Am I the only one that is feeling this away? I hope I have no offended anyone
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Old 11-12-2004, 07:38 PM
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I am happy that this whole sordid mess has come to an end. The proper end. Scott murdered Laci and Conner and a jury has acknowledged that. I hope he gets LWOP and that he has a very long life to ponder what he has done.
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